BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
DISCUSSIONS are underway with funders and institutions to raise K20 million for production and processing of chickens in Central, Muchinga and Western provinces.
Over 3,750 smallholder farmers will benefit from the Business Partnership Facility Initiative project being implemented by Maima General Dealers, according to company Chief Executive Officer, Mwala Mooto.
Mr Mooto said they are currently in discussion with financers and institutions that are willing to partner with them to raise the funds for the project amounting to K20 million.
He explained that the Business Partnership Facility Initiative project currently being piloted in Chibombo district, Central province was aimed to assist smallholder farmers with value addition to their products.
Mr Mooto indicated that they would also provide the smallholder farmers with capacity building and finance.
He pointed out that this project in Chibombo was valued at K5 million to establish a processing facility that would accommodate the smallholders farmers outside their facility.
He explained that the facility in Chibombo would be specifically financed by the K1 million prize from Kweza, with about K2 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the rest would be raised from operations.
Mr Mooto indicated that the programme had been rolled out to other districts in Senanga in Western province and Kanchibiya in Muchinga province.
“The way we have structured our programme is that we have clustered them into FarmersCommunity Cooperatives. Each of these cooperative will be assisted to coming up with the production facility and we are also going to empower them with village chickens.
Mr Mooto said they would be providing a ready market for the smallholder farmers in these districts.
He indicated that value addition was cardinal in growing the markets as more farmers would be able to get value for their products.
“The problem we are facing as smallholder farmers in Zambia is that we are not adding value to our products. When you go to Soweto you will find tonnes of tomatoes that goes to waste on daily basis.”