ZAMBIA cannot export beef to Africa and Europe because of the failure to meet the set international standards in these countries as well as the presence of diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Contagious Bovine Pleura Pneumonia (CBPP), Fisheries and Livestock Minister Greyford Monde told Parliament yesterday.
Mr Monde said Zambia would only be able to export beef to other African countries and Europe after carrying out surveillance of trade sensitive trans-boundary animal diseases.
He said there was need to carry out vaccination of beef cattle and construction of check points and quarantine facilities.
Mr Monde was responding to Chadiza Member of Parliament Allan Mbewe who wanted to know which measures had been taken to facilitate the export of beef to Africa and Europe.
Mr Mbewe also wanted know whether there were any private companies that had expressed interest in exporting beef and what measures had been taken to ensure that Zambian beef met the exportation quality in view of t Corridor and other diseases in some parts of the country.
In responce Mr Monde said for markets in Europe, measures that were being undertaken included the creation of at least one Disease Free Zone in the country.
“The ministry is also undertaking measures aimed at increasing the beef cattle numbers that is required to sustain the export market through the creation of breeding centres, promotion of artificial insemination, importation of improved breeds, improving management and nutritional status of the animals,” Mr Monde said.
He also explained that two companies (Zambeef and Majoru) had expressed interest in exporting beef to South Africa and Nigeria.
Mr Monde further said in order to ensure Zambian beef met the export quality in view of Corridor and other diseases in some
parts of the country, animal disease surveillance including ante and post mortem inspections by veterinarians had been conducted.
He said some of the measures to meet the export quality included disease control through movement control and vaccinations and creation of disease free zone.
Mr Monde said government had invested in laboratory facilities at central veterinary research institute in Balmoral and regional laboratories in Choma, Chipata, Mongu, Kasama, Ndola and Solwezi.
He added that Government had introduced compliance initiatives to international standards through development of regulations, enforcement of compulsory farmer registration as provided for in the Animal Health Act No. 27 of 2010 and feasibility studies on the animal identification and traceability system were being undertaken.
And UPND Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu asked Mr Monde to confirm that the nation was being feed on substandard beef.
“Mr Speaker, I want the honourable minister to confirm that we are eating substandard beef because Zambia has no capacity to export beef because it does not meet the set standards,” Mr Mwiimbu said.
But Mr Monde refuted Mr Mwiimbu’s claims saying the country was eating the right and quality beef. Mr Monde explained that the failure to export beef in Africa and Europe did not mean that Zambians were eating substandard beef.