ZAMBIA is set to become the sub region’s most indusrialised country in the next two years with the creation of more than 720 factories through the Citizens Economic Empowerment commission(CEEC) value chain clusters.
The 720 factories which will generate thousands of jobs by 2016, will help to transform the country’s industrial base.
CEEC director general Likando Mukumbuta said in Siavonga yesterday that, the factories will be created through the ongoing value chain prorammes in aquaculture, agriculture and manufacturing.
Mr Mukumbuta said the aquaculture sector which currently produces 5,000 tonnes of fish of which 75 per cent was from the small-scale farmers, is expected to increase by 3,750 tonnes this year.
Speaking during flag off the 2013 value chain cluster, Mr Mukumbuta said Siavonga has a potentially vibrant fish sub sector with annual primary production of 9,454 tonnes of Kapenta and Kariba breams.
“We are supporting aquaculture in five districts. These include Siavonga,Kitwe, Rufunsa, Mpulungu and Nchelenge and there are already plans to increase output this year by 1,000 tonnes under the value chain programme.
“By 2016 the CEEC value chain programme will be able to support about 720 factories which will help to transform the country’s industrial base,” Mr Mukumbuta said.
Meanwhile, CEEC has invested close to K3 million in the aquaculture sector in Siavonga District, Southern Province.
The Commission disbursed a total of K1,955,758.82 in the 2013 value chain for aquaculture which will support 61 out of 67 projects approved for the district.
A total of 161 jobs will be created in the district as a result of the value chain.
CEEC has been creating a minimum of two factories in every district which will translate in the establishment of 720 factories by the end of 2016.
CEEC rreceiveda total of 8,172 applications countrywide saying that only 1,526 projects were approved and has so far disbursed 449 loans valued at K27,428,785.87.
Commerce,Trade and Industry Minister Robert Sichinga said Zambia imports between 40,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes of fish.
“We want by 2016, Zambia should not be importing fish, we should be exporting to the neighbouring countries instead,” Mr Sichinga said.
He said CEEC was now well positioned to support businesses that would add value to the economy.
Mr Sichinga said Government would continue to create the much needed jobs and wealth through the value chain clusters.
Siavonga District Commissioner Brave Mweetwa thanked the Government for empowering the people of Siavonga through the empowerment fund.
Times of Zambia