THE Zambian agriculture sector has the potential to contribute massively to the economies of both the country and the Southern Africa, French Ambassador to Zambia Emmanuel Cohet has said.
Mr. Cohet said agriculture was the future of Zambia, as it had plenty of land and good soil to cultivate from.
He said this ahead of the Agri-tech fair which starts today in Chisamba district.
He said over 20 delegates from France were expected to attend the fair.
Mr. Cohet reiterated that the French government had great interests to contribute to agricultural development in Zambia.
“France wants to engage more in Zambia’s agricultural sector because we realise the potential that Zambia has in this specific sector. It has a lot of space.
“Some Southern African countries have been badly hit by a total drought, but the situation in Zambia is different which makes it even the best country to invest in,” Mr. Cohet said.
He said the French government would work in collaboration with the Zambian government to make Zambia a leading country of agriculture in Africa.
Mr. Cohet said the agricultural sector in France was already strengthening its relationship with the sector in Zambia by partnering with some local Agro-companies.
“We want to help in capacity building, offer technical support and help small scales farmers to have access to financing. So far, we have partnered with companies such as Seed-Co. We are also in talks with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) to see how we can work together and we are yet to identify more,” he said.
Mr Cohet disclosed that a lot of French Agriculture companies had so far shown keen interest to invest in the Zambian agricultural sector.
“There are big French agricultural companies that want to invest in Zambia. As you know, the Zambian President Edgar Lungu was recently in France and had engaged some French agriculture companies,” he said.
And French Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs Department of Economic Affairs for Southern Africa, Guillaume Furri, said France being one of the biggest Agricultural countries in Europe; it had new solutions for the Zambian agricultural sector.
Ms. Furri restated the need to strengthen links between French and Zambian agricultural companies.