‘Food processing needs more support’ – CEO of Zambia’s food processing firm

A LEADING agricultural processing entrepreneur has decried the lack of government support for the industry, saying it is not good for the push to attain food security in Zambia.

“Not enough support being provided to agro-processing,” Monica Musonda, founder and CEO of Java Foods, a food processing company based in Lusaka, said in a tweet.

Musonda who is also a 2013 Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, stressed that while much attention was given to support for agriculture, much more needed to be done in the area of supporting the processing industry in Zambia.

“We are not solving food security without processors,” she said in apparent reference to possible incentives for the importation of processing machinery.

Java Foods was founded in 2012 with a vision to become a leading food manufacturer in southern Africa.

The 2017 Budget of roughly ZMW 57 billion (US$ 57 million) by the government dubbed ‘Zambia Plus’ has been touted to aggressively push for diversified economic growth, with agriculture, tourism and industralisation to be driven by the private sector. Notable is the budget’s support for the creation of 100,000 decent jobs in rural Zambia through the Value Chain Cluster Development Programme.

Central in the efforts to diversify the economy through value-addition, the budget will also support the setting up of an Agricultural and Industrial Credit Guarantee Fund for affordable financing of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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