The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has lauded President Hakainde Hichilema’s stance against the importation of onions in the country.
ZNFU President Jervis Zimba said Zambia has been on a steady trajectory, locally growing fruits and vegetables.
“There are commodities that we are able to produce locally which we have religiously said Zambia needs not to import,” Zimba said
“To be losing a staggering US$12million every year to onion imports when this is money that could be used for value addition to our onions and enhance production capacity and standards, which in turn would increase jobs locally, is unacceptable.”
Zimba said ZNFU shares President Hichilema’s vision of driving the country’s economic transformation through underpinning agriculture as a focal point, leveraged by diversification and value addition.
He said the Union shall continue to propagate such an agenda through to the point that the country becomes the net exporter of both raw and processed agriculture commodities.
President Hichilema addressed the National Assembly last Friday and highlighted the need for continued promotion of the conception of locally produced goods and services.
He explained that this would be key to Zambia’s economic transformation as consumption of local goods and services will drive higher production levels.
This stance has received positive feedback from stakeholders given the recent scandal involving the Ministry of Agriculture’s authorisation of the importation of onions, with concerns that over K23million would have gone to waste.