——Luapula Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, has expressed happiness at the interest shown by Sakiza Spinning Company of Kitwe to invest in Sugar production in Luapula Province.
Mr Kasolo assured Sakiza officials when they paid a courtesy call on him yesterday that Luapula was the right destination for them to translate their investment plans into reality because of the favourable weather patterns for sugarcane growing in both the Luena Farm block in Kawambwa and Chembe districts.
He said the required expertise to start up the whole process was readily available in the province because of the presence of Mansa Trades Training School whose courses would meet the needs of the project.
The Permanent Secretary said Mansa Trades has agricultural courses and a farm in chief Chisunka’s area with herds of cattle whose expertise could prove to be a positive synergy for the benefit of the sugar production project in the province.
And Deputy Permanent Secretary, Joyce Nsamba, said the province was itching for investment to add value to the products already present in the province in order to create jobs for the people and reduce poverty.
Ms Nsamba said though the province does not have enough electricity at the moment, government was already working on strategies of addressing the challenge through upgrading the Musonda Falls and Serenje Pensulo project.
She added that government was also busy working on roads and upgrading them to bituminous standard which is a favourable political will for any investor who would want to bring their investment to the province.
She revealed that all the royal highnesses in the province were keen on developing their chiefdoms through attracting investment to the chiefdoms by making land available for development.
And Sakiza Company Managing Director, Natarajan Kumar, said Sakiza would prefer to invest in Chembe district because of its strategic location so that it could supply the sugar produced in Chembe to the northern part of Zambia and the Congo DR.
Mr Kumar said Chembe looked attractive because of the suitable land and abundant water in the Luapula River which runs all the year round.
He said his company wanted to do an integrated project which should not just produce sugar but also include production of paper which needs huge amounts of water.
The director added that 10,000 hectares would be adequate because the sugar plantation will need about 6,000 hectares to be under cultivation so that the other pockets of open land could be used for other administrative structures and open dambos.