SOUTH Africa’s top commercial  farmers  have been encouraged to take advantage of Zambia’s investor-friendly environment and the abundant arable land, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has said.

He said Zambia was one of the few countries in the world that had the most conducive agricultural environment for investment anchored by political stability.

Mr. Mwamba pointed out that Government was now focusing on agriculture as the alternative sector to drive Zambia’s economy.

“We are calling on you the farmers to come and assist us diversify our economy. And what we are encouraging is that you come in and set up an out-grower scheme arrangement with the communities. This will in turn also earn you good reputation as you will be showing that you are a good corporate citizen,” he said.

Mr Mwamba urged the farmers to join the Zambia South Africa Business Council which could assist them in addressing some of the challenges they would face in trying to enter Zambia.

Mr. Mwamba was speaking at a seminar jointly organized by Agri All Africa (AaA) and Agri Zambia in Pretoria where he addressed about 50 South Africa’s commercial farmers who are members of AaA.

AaA was formed by South African commercial farmers with the aim of supporting the development of commercial agriculture in Africa which they have been recognized as the key driver of the continent’s economic development.

And Agri-Zambia managing director, Landon Romano, told the farmers that Zambia was eager and committed to agricultural development and to promote itself economically.

Mr. Romano, who spoke about organized farming value and agribusiness propositions in his presentation, pointed out that Agri Zambia was able to assist the farmers access land and also facilitate the registration of their companies in Zambia.

He assured them that there was investment guarantees and protection against State nationalization through the Certificate of Registration for any investment under the Zambia Development Agency Act of 2006.

“Zambia is eager to maximise benefits from its natural resources. You should treat Zambia as the nucleus of how you want to grow your agricultural business because I can assure you that Zambia has great potential to become the food basket of the region,” Mr. Romano said.

Agri Zambia, under the mandate of AaA, represents a team of Zambian and international businessmen who focus on maximising stakeholders’ value through both non-commercial organized agriculture and commercial agriculture interests.

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