MINISTER of Commerce, Trade and Industry Robert Sichinga says the agriculture sector has the potential to create 550,000 jobs and that the industry needs support to help Government fight high unemployment in Zambia.
Speaking after a tour of Global Plantation Limited in Lufwanyama on Friday, the minister said Government has an ambitious programme to deal with unemployment.
“In order to deal with the challenge of employment, Government has embarked on several ambitious programmes through the formulation of strategies for industrialisation and job creation,” Mr Sichinga said.
“We plan to create one million jobs by the end of 2016. The sector which is expected to highly contribute to this number of jobs is agriculture, where we seek to create 550,000 job.”
Mr Sichinga further explained that the tourism sector will come with 300,000 employment opportunities with manufacturing taking up 89,000 and the construction industry to create 85,000.
“Given this ambitious plan, we must therefore be in a hurry to implement those strategies that will assist us in our fight against poverty. We therefore need to encourage investment in the identified sectors to achieve our objective,” he said.
And GPL director Srinivas Rao said the vegetable seed farm has 100 permanent employees and employs 500 casual workers daily.
He also said about 2,000 local people are benefiting from the vegetable farms indirectly at this early stage of operations.
“Global Group shareholders are happy with the support from Government,” Mr Rao said.