ZAMBIA – Chinese firm, Zhong Yang Eco-Agriculture Industry Park, has signed a US$80 million Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), aimed at enhancing investment cooperation between the two parties.
The agricultural firm’s focus is in commercial seed production, animal husbandry, and fish farming.
ZDA board chairperson David Masupa noted that the US$80 million five-year planned investment in the agriculture sector, will go a long way in contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reports Lusaka Times.
He assured Zhong yang Eco-Agriculture industry park that the Zambian government will work with the company to ensure that the investment bares fruit.
Zhong Yang Eco-Agriculture Industry Park Managing Director, Wen Shunfan disclosed that the firm will provide free agriculture training for the local communities, to empower them with modern skills in crop and livestock farming.
“We are happy to note that Zhong Yang Eco-Agriculture Industry Park is committed to ensuring that the community takes centre stage in its investments. Corporate social responsibility is not just a business principle, but a Chinese cultural approach that seeks to empowering communities,” Mr. Shunfan said.
Agriculture Marketing Authority of Zimbabwe to finance farmers with US$100m
In neighbouring Zimbabwe, the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) has received all regulatory approvals to raise US$100 million through agro-bills to support increased agricultural productivity.
The agro-bill will provide affordable financing to farmers in horticulture and oilseeds (cottonseed, sunflower seed, soya beans, groundnuts, and Sesame) sectors.
“Finance is required to intensify agricultural productivity. The commercial success of farming is underpinned by access to inputs, adherence to best practices and access to market information and knowledge.”Agriculture Marketing Authority Chief Executive – Mr Clever Isaya
The bill’s financial partners are AFC Commercial Bank.
Farmers who have registered with the marketing authority and meet other prescribed requirements will be eligible to receive agricultural loans under the facility.
AMA Chief Executive Mr Clever Isaya encouraged smallholder farmers across the country to take up the loan to enable them attain profitability from their farming.
“Finance is required to intensify agricultural productivity. The commercial success of farming is underpinned by access to inputs, adherence to best practices and access to market information and knowledge. The latter is now easily available thanks to advances in technology,” he said.
The initiative is part of AMA’s strategy to facilitate and structure finances through various instruments to support production and marketing of agricultural products.
The Zimbabwe 2020/21 agricultural season production outlook shows a reversal of negative trends which had saddled cash crops over the past years.
The country is expecting a soya bean harvest of 71000 tonnes, up from 48 000 tonnes in the prior year, representing a 51-percentage change. Similarly, cotton and groundnuts also have high output projections compared to previous years.
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