Government invites India to buy Zambian soya beans, invest in agro processing ventures


Zambia has appealed to the Indian government to take advantage of the country’s high-grade Soya Beans for its edible oil production, authorities say.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Permanent Secretary for International Relations, Ambassador Isabelle Lemba, made the appeal in New Delhi on Thursday during the third Foreign Office Consultation (FOC).

This is according to a statement issued on Friday in New Delhi by Bennie Mundando, the First Secretary for Press and Tourism at Zambia High Commission in India.

Lemba has noted the growing trade imbalance between the two countries with India exporting more than Zambia and asked India to take advantage of the sound bilateral relationship between the two countries to leverage trade especially in the agriculture sector.

She said India can now look to Zambia for the importation of agricultural produce such as soya beans and avocado which are of high quality and readily available in Zambia.

“We need to enhance our trade ties. We have had more trade inflows into Zambia but we need Zambia to also export more to India. One product you can take advantage of which is readily available is soya beans. We have good weather in Zambia and we produce quality soya beans which is of high grade for your use to produce edible oils,” Lemba said.

She also called for investment in Agro processing in Zambia to add value to a wide range of products produced by farmers to enable the country export finished products as part of the initiative to bridge the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Zambian farmers are also producing avocado and for this, we can sign an export agreement to enable you buy the products from Zambia because we know that India is a big market with a big purchasing power. This too, will go a long way in addressing the trade imbalance between the two countries,” Lemba said.

She has also appealed to the Indian government to consider giving Zambian students in India industrial attachment visas to enable them to have industrial experience after their training in various fields.

India’s Joint Secretary of East and Southern Africa Puneet Kundal said India will explore the prospect of importing Soya Beans from Zambia as it can be a cheaper source than the current situation where the country is importing pigeon peas from other African countries.

Read More:Three Indian firms express interest to setup pharmaceutical plants in Zambia

Kundal said Soya Beans can be an alternative raw material for the production of edible oils as India is currently importing raw materials from Brazil.

“We will have a look at the nature of the soya beans and urgently negotiate so that we can have a cheaper source of raw material for edible oil which we are currently sourcing from Brazil and some African countries where we are buying pigeon peas,” Kundal said.

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