THERE is need to strengthen the private public partnership (PPP) if Zambia is to start exporting beef, says deputy minister of Livestock and Fisheries Lawrence Evans.
Mr. Evans noted that presently Zambia was a net importing and consuming country, but pointed out that the country had potential to enter the livestock export market
He said it was Government’s goal to see the nation become a producing and exporting country in terms of livestock products.
Mr. Evans indicated that for the goal to be achieved there was need for a strong public private partnership.
“Zambia has the potential to start exporting beef to other countries, but for this to happen there is need for the private sector to work hand in hand with Government to see to it that we develop and improve the livestock sector,” Mr. Evans said.
He noted that at the moment, Zambia was unable to export beef due to the failure to meet the set international standards and the presence of cattle diseases.
“Cattle diseases have been prevailing especially in Western Province because of importing cattle neighbouring countries which has brought in a lot of diseases,” he said.
Mr. Evans stressed that if the private sector partnered with Government most of the cattle diseases that have engulfed Zambia would be combated.
He said that there was need for the private sector to assist Government by way of educating livestock farmers on how to look after cattle and setting up livestock dipping centres throughout the country to end animal diseases as Government could not do it alone.
Mr. Evans noted that if cattle diseases were eliminated, Zambia would be able to meet the criteria required to export beef to other countries.
“This is what our friends like Botswana are doing ; they are a semi-desert area and yet they are exporting beef. Why can’t a country like Zambia export beef as well?
‘‘If we can have dipping centres throughout the country, then we will be able to meet the international standards required to export beef,” he said.