World’s largest fresh produce market pledges support to Zambian farmers

ZAMBIA -Zambian local farmers to partner with the world largest wholesale fresh produce market, Rungis International in the southern suburbs of France through the Lusaka City Council (LCC).

Rungis Market is a member of the French Federation of Wholesale Markets, a professional association which consists of all national interest markets.

Its purpose is to contribute to the development of the network and the coordination between these various markets, in close collaboration with the parent ministries of the national interest markets.

Recently Zambia’s Ambassador to France Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, undertook an exploratory tour for the Wholesale market to foster partnership with the cooperation to enable Zambia’s local farmers to start selling their produce in the market which hosts up to 1,200 enterprises from all over the world.

“I see this as an opportunity where people will be able to venture into farming knowing that there is already a market, they can sale their produce to and so we need a well-organized entity that could help in moderating the sales of goods.’’ She stated.

Through the partnership the farmers will be educated on the standards needed for their produce to be exported to the market.

Rungis International Project Manager, Erwan Gambert advised the Ambassador to facilitate a visit for the Zambia Local Farmers Association representatives so as to familiarize themselves with the International Market and gain the competence that would enable them to manage their business satisfactorily.

Rungis market, managed by a semi-public company called SEMMARIS has a turnover of 9 billion Euros (US$9.8 billion) employing over 120,000 people and over 18 million customers.

The market sells 2.4 million tons of products per year with a self-contained 34 Mega Watts power plant produced from its own waste (biomass).

The heating and electricity generated from biomass is distributed to the neighbouring entities, ORLY International airport inclusive.

Some of the African countries trading at the market are Swaziland, South Africa, Ghana and Morocco.

This partnership will boost Zambia’s export earnings. According to a recent report by Trading Economics, Exports in Zambia decreased to 6795.40 ZMK Million (US$516m) in July from 7993.10 ZMK Million (US$ 608m) in June of 2019.

The average export earnings from 2003 until 2019 is 3466.75 ZMK Million (US$ 263m), reaching an all-time high of 8916 ZMK (US$678m) Million in December of 2018 and a record low of 271 ZMK Million (US$20m) in January of 2003.

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