VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott will propose to the ministries of Finance and of Agriculture and Livestock to consider giving incentives to emerging farmers in the poultry industry instead of giving subsidies across the board.

Speaking when he commissioned the Southern Chickens Processing Plant in Siavonga on Thursday afternoon, the Vice-President said it was important that the two ministries considered the rural model and offered incentives to the industry.

“I will prompt the ministries of Finance and Agriculture and Livestock to look at this kind of rural model. That maybe, instead of giving subsidies they should consider giving long-term incentives to the industry across the board,” Dr Scott said.

He said there was need to consider the value of setting up rural models as it was a better way of distributing wealth in the country, considering that 90 per cent of the chickens in Zambia were produced in Lusaka.

“Considering rural models makes sense because land in Lusaka is expensive. This kind of land you see here can cost about US$1 million in Lusaka,” Dr Scott said.

“The cost of transport and other elements will be there but it can be paid for somehow, because you collect chickens from Lusaka, bring them over here, process and do whatever you have to do and send them back to Lusaka.”

And Dr Scott said there was need for the Government to review strategies so that the country could compete favourably with other countries and generate money from the industry.

Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Evelyn Nguleka said the poultry industry was a force to reckon with and that it generated employment for all farmers – small, emergent and large-scale producers and other allied industries.

Dr Nguleka said the industry contributed significantly to the Government’s revenue.

She said the growth of the poultry industry had also propelled the growth of the soya beans sub-sector through stock feed processing industries, while production of edible oils had expanded in the process.

Mathaniah Investments Limited chairperson John Sangwa said the successful commissioning of Southern Chickens Processing Plant was the beginning of the expansion of the poultry industry in Zambia, which had been growing at the rate of more than 20 per cent per annum.

Mr Sangwa said the opening of the plant had been a natural progression in the growth of the business, and this had been possible because of the foresight and understanding of Chief Simamba.

Times of Zambia