Consider private sector in the construction of food storage facilities


THE Zambia Co-operative Federations (ZCF) says Government should consider engaging the private sector in the construction of food storage facilities in the country to avoid wastage.
In welcoming the move by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to put up 98 storage facilities in the country, ZCF director general James Chirwa said the private sector could have been engaged in the construction.
Mr Chirwa said the move to build storage facilities will not only reduce food wastage but also increase food availability in the country.
He however said this is a wake-up call for the private sector to start participating in such developmental projects that will contribute to development of the country.
Mr Chirwa said the move has just proved that the private sector is not active and that it should have been the one building the storage facilities.
“The move by FRA is welcome, but what comes to our mind as a federation [that] is we must be worried, we must be concerned that FRA is going to put up storage facilities.
“As a business entity, we should not be happy because we should have been the ones building the sheds,” he said.
Mr Chirwa said the country has been losing maize due to poor storage capacity and this is why Government has moved in to bridge the gap.
“We have been talking about this. Our storage capacity in the country is not adequate, if compared to the level of production.
“Maize alone cannot be accommodated into safety of the warehouse in the country. What more if we put in groundnuts and other crops?” he said.