Saturday, January 19, 2008

(TIMES) ‘Pineapple out grower scheme on cards’

‘Pineapple out grower scheme on cards’
By Business Reporter

Approximately K100 million has been earmarked for the development of a pineapple out grower scheme in Mwinilunga involving 1,000 small-scale citrus farmers. Freshmot Zambia Ltd managing director, Moses Tamele said the venture was part of the preparations for the revival of the Mwinilunga pineapple processing factory.

Freshmot is currently in negotiations with a South African firm aimed at setting up a joint venture in the revival of the pineapple factory. The objective was to ensure that the anticipated new factory had enough raw material for processing into various ends products.

Freshmot will soon embark on a programme to identify potential out grower farmers in the northwestern province which would also be extended to the Copperbelt.

The development has elated many farmers in the province who see the development as an opportunity to embark on commercially viable citrus farming.

“Hundreds of tonnes of citrus fruit go to waste every year in Zambia because of lack of market and the non availability of processing facilities to absorb the fruit.” Mr Tamele said.

A citrus farmer Mizinga Kayombo who grows fruit on the Copperbelt urged FreshMot to enter into long term contracts with farmers in order to sustain the project.

Mr Kayombo suggested that the company should also help farmers access the export market especially the Democratic republic of Congo and Angolan markets where much of the fruit including oranges, mangoes, pineapples and bananas are sold under individual arrangements.

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At 1:05 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Just an aside, but should anyone really be growing anything in the Copperbelt? It sounds like one of the most polluted places on the planet. And until that changes, it could really damage not only the local people's health, but it could really set Zambian agriculture up for very negative publicity and loss in sales.

It is time that the state started taking pollution and emissions very seriously.

Things like these could ruin Zambia's exports of edible materials for a long time to come. Reputations take decades to establish, but can be ruined overnight.

There should be very serious inspections of the quality of food produced there, the presence of heavy metals, and preferrably, food should be produced away from the industrial regions of the country.


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