Monday, June 03, 2013

Sata says he expects total cooperation from mines
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe and Brina Siwale in Livingstone
Sat 01 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says he expects total cooperation from mining investors in ensuring that mineral resources being exploited benefit the people, who are the custodians of the rich natural resources the country is endowed with.

And President Sata says despite the slight reduction in maize production this season as a result of poor rainfall in some places and the outbreak of army worms, the country remains food-secure.

Meanwhile, President Sata has been honoured by the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management for his outstanding work as one of the founding members of the institute.

In a speech read on his behalf by Vice-President Guy Scott during the official opening of the 56th Copperbelt Mining, Agriculture and Commercial Show at Kitwe's Show Grounds yesterday, President Sata said mining companies must be compliant with all the laws of the country and undertake meaningful corporate social responsibility programmes that would contribute to improvement in the lives of the people in communities in which they operate.

"This will enhance the investment climate because communities will be able to see benefits from the exploitation of their resources. Mining has the potential to continue contributing to the development of the country because there were still many minerals which were yet to be explored," he said.

He said current mapping of the nation's mineral wealth stood at only 52 per cent and industrial minerals such as limestone and clay could be used in the manufacturing of input for the construction sector while limestone and phosphates could be used in the agriculture sector.
President Sata said minerals such as manganese and iron ore were critical inputs for the steel industry.

He said both local and foreign investors must invest in the exploitation of the minerals.

And President Sata said with the expected national maize harvest for this season at 2,532,800 metric tonnes and the 455,221 metric tonnes of carry-over stocks from the last season, the country was expected to have maize surplus of 453,995 metric tonnes.

He said it was gratifying that the Copperbelt Province had again made a significant contribution to the production of many crops including the staple food, maize.

President Sata said the government had taken measures to reform subsidies in the agriculture sector so as to redirect resources in order to better develop the agriculture industry and other sectors of the economy.

He said the government however would continue to provide input subsidy on fertiliser that would benefit 900,000 farmers during the next season.

And Copperbelt chairman Bill Osborn said agriculture, like mining, had continued to boast growth and side by side, the two sectors had stood out as the mainstay of the economy.

Osborn said this year's theme 'Mining and Agriculture for continued development and Prosperity' showed that the two sectors had continued to provide employment to the majority Zambians and also getting the larger populace out of poverty and providing food security.
Earlier, agriculture minister Robert Sichinga said the government had managed to reach out to over 94,000 farmers on the Copperbelt under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) during the 2011-2012 farming season.

In his message to exhibitors and showgoers at this year's 56th Copperbelt Mining, Agriculture and Commercial show that was officially opened yesterday, Sichinga said the ministry managed to accomplish a number of activities in accordance with the sixth National Development Plan to the 80,000 farming households during the 2011-2012 farming season in the Copperbelt Province.

"The aforesaid households are spread out across 44 agricultural blocks and 156 agricultural camps. We managed to reach out to 94,180 farmers under the Farmer Input Support (FISP), 86,560 with maize and 7,620 with sorghum. We also managed to sale out 223,000 fish fingerlings to the public through the National Aquaculture Research Development Centre which is situated in Mwekera in Kitwe in the province," Sichinga said.
He said the province cultivated over 134,000 hectares by the farmers that led to the production of 248,000 metric tonnes of maize and nearly 39,000 metric tonnes of wheat.

Sichinga said 50,000 metric tonnes of Soya beans, 5,000 metric tonnes of groundnuts and nearly 21,000 metric tonnes of mixed beans and the sweet potatoes produced amounted to 21,000 metric tonnes.
"The livestock population pigs stood at 6, 9875 cattle at 62, 846 goats and 8,542 sheep. Whereas various fowls, mainly composed of chickens were over 2,588,830. All these developments are in line with this year's theme mining and agriculture for continued development and prosperity," Sichinga said.

And President Sata was yesterday honoured with an honorary fellow membership award during the institute's 16th annual general meeting.
President Sata was a founding member of the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management from July 3, 1967 to March 18, 1972.
He was one of the Zambian Personnel Management Experts and was nominated on the Interim Committee which spearheaded the formation of the institute.

And labour minister Fackson Shamenda urged human resource practitioners in the country never to disregard labour laws.

In a speech read for him by labour deputy minister Rayford Mbulu, who also received President Sata's honorary award, Shamenda said the government expected all human resource managers in the country to appreciate and correctly interpret the labour laws and advise their employers accordingly.

Shamenda maintained that non-Zambians should not be allowed to perform human resource functions because Zambians better understood the challenges that local people face.

Meanwhile, institute president Winner Kanyembo said the institute had limited capacity to carry out inspections for compliance with the law.

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