Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project
It has been an eventful couple of months for the Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project )ZATP), with exciting networking opportunities that translated into wins for the Project that truly buoyed the working spirit; this after a considerable ‘dry’ spell when the Project were unable to network widely for various reasons!
The first boost in the arm received was during the Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Ndola, held from the 26th July to the 1st August, 2022. By the official opening date on Day 4 of the Fair, officially opened by Republican President Hakainde Hichilema, we had settled into a routine work pace, networking with members of different media, fellow exhibitors and a healthy stream of visitors to the International Trade Fair that were drawn to our small stand by the products we had on display by a select number of Copperbelt based beneficiaries.
Notwithstanding the anxious whispers from other exhibitors, we only half believed that the Republican President would actually visit the ZATP stand as, naturally, he was on a tight schedule and would surely have little or no interest in the ‘smaller’ SME displays? Oh, but alas, with the hype, hustle and bustle that characterises the arrival of VVIPs through the display Hall, lo and behold that H.E should pause right before our Stand and with the words “I like pausing and working with people who look smart”, the ZATP team got the chance to pause for pictures and have a quick tete-a-tete with the Republican President. The feeling was phenomenal for us all, and in the aftermath of the ZITF, our beneficiaries had naught but grateful praise to laud for being given the opportunity to display their products alongside the Project.
A brief summary of the beneficiaries’ profile and eventual outcome reads thus:
- D & C Farming Entreprises Trading as Ufu Withu Milling received serious enquiries to export mealie meal to DRC. The potential buyers who were also exhibiting at the DRC Stand have been in touch with the SME and are drafting the supply contract since they are back in DRC. The SME will share the details of the sales deal once finalized with the potential buyers.
- Forbes Agribusiness Zambia Limited received enquiries to supply Cassava Flour to a potential buyer. The Cassava meal is required in bulk as an intermediate product to process further into Starch. The SME will provide feedback once they seal the deals.
- Yatu Foods also received enquiries to supply 300 cases of Tea to a potential client.
- Mpongwe Bulima Cooperative, based in Mpongwe under the Productive Alliances in Zambia (PAZ) component and were on hand with numerous products to both display and to sell! Suffice to say, by the end of the Fair, they literally had no products to go back home with
- Chabutete MultiPurpose Cooperative are also Mpongwe-based and have found their niche in Yam Production and Processing. At the Fair, Chabutete set up a neat cooking area where they cooked yam for visitors to sample for their individual taste palette. The initiative was a huge success and resulted in heightened interest even from potential buyers of yam in its raw form as well as for processed yam in the aftermath of the Trade Fair
The SMEs and the Producer Organisations were grateful that ZATP provided visibility and exposure by showcasing their products at the Trade Fair
The team did not have long to down tools as barely a few short weeks later, preparations were heavily underway for the 94th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show, the first Show to be held since the advent of Covid19 necessitated the cessation of big Shows of this nature for a number of years.
The Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project exhibited at the 94th Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show under the theme ‘Technology and Innovation’, this time alongside a different set of beneficiaries under both MarketConnect and PAZ. Visitors to the Stand were able to interact with Victoria Brands, Village Tillage Farms Limited, Savanna Cholocates Limited, Budding Foods Limited and Jaja Farms Limited. Additionally, COMACO and AfriSeed Companies were present to exhibit under the ZATP umbrella.
Beside a healthy number of visitors to the Stand, the Project once again scored a first with the bagging of the prize of 2nd Position under ‘Best Private Service Industry Exhibit’. This was no mean feat considering this was the first time the Project has exhibited independently. We are all truly honoured to accept this Prize AND consider this a victory for ALL the beneficiaries of the Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project.
For both Shows, media engagement lay at the centre, enabling the Project to reach out even to those who could not be physically present at both events!
Showcasing being the ‘catch-phrase’, the Project also had the opportunity to demonstrate first-hand the impact being scored in the proverbial real time!
Through a number of high-profile visits from the World Bank, from whom the Project support is garnered for the Government to make an impact on people’s lives, the Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project paid a visit to Forest Africa Limited.
This is how Forest Africa Limited themselves describe the visit, held on 15th July 2022 on their social media pages:
A MEMORABLE VISIT BY THE WORLD BANK VICE PRESIDENT FOR EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA DR. VICTORIA KWAKWA TO FOREST AFRICA ZAMBIA LIMITED.
Today the 15th of July 2022 was a memorable day for Forest Africa Zambia Limited. We had the pleasure and rare honour of hosting the Vice President of the World Bank in charge of Eastern and Southern Africa Dr. Victoria Kwakwa who was joined by the World Bank Country Manager Dr. Sahr Kpundeh. The Government was represented by Mr. Mulele Maketo Mulele who came in his capacity as the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
As an SME, Forest Africa (Z) Ltd is grateful for the invaluable support received from the World Bank through the Ministry of Commerce Trade & Industry who are executing the Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project (ZATP) together with the MarketConnect team. Through the Project, Forest Africa Zambia Limited has received both Technical Assistance (TA) and support in the form of a matching grant. The grant was used to procure full complement state of the art juice processing and filling equipment which will more than treble Forest Africa processing capacity. Forest Africa Zambia Limited continues to invest own resources in the business.
We thanked the World Bank for this support which has definitely moved Forest Africa Zambia Limited up the ladder as an SME