Dr Kaseba, during a tour of the Paris Agri-Business Show (SIMA) 2019 at Paris Nord Villepinte in France, was amazed to learn that a good number of French companies undertook trade missions to Zambia and returned with positive stories about the country.
Her tour of the agri-business show was a follow-up to the French companies’ visit to Zambia so that she could learn about their experiences, according to a statement issued by first secretary press at the Zambian mission in Paris, Yande Musonda.
SIMA is a premier agriculture show that takes place every two years and marks its 78th edition this year with a focus on addressing the demands and requirements of efficient and sustainable agriculture.
And during her tour, Dr Kaseba implored French Agri-Tech companies to help provide viable solutions in enhancing capacity building in Zambia’s agriculture sector.
She, however, learnt that most French companies were investing more in Francophone countries but called on them to consider Anglophone countries like Zambia that offered huge investment prospects, guaranteed safety of investment and a stable economic climate.
“My Government under the leadership of Republican President Mr. Edgar Lungu has prioritised the agriculture sector for achieving diversification, economic growth and poverty reduction in Zambia as enshrined in our Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and other focus areas for my government’s Intervention include increased investment in livestock and fisheries, irrigation development, mechanisation, research and development, storage facilities development, productivity-enhancing technology development, just to mention a few,” Dr Kaseba added and further noted the need for mechanisation in the agricultural sector to increase farm productivity in the country as more people, especially the youth, were venturing into farming.
And SIMA 2019 co-organisers, AXEMA, praised the Zambian government for prioritising the agricultural sector as one of the key sectors in economic growth.
About 1,800 exhibitors are expected at the 78th edition this year, the world’s oldest Agro-business show.
AXEMA Director-General Valérie Lescaut expressed said Zambia had the potential to grow its agriculture sector, having placed political will at the highest level.
Dr Kaseba later invited AXEMA to exhibit at the Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola or the Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show in Lusaka, along with other French Agri-Tech companies and see how they could offer new ideas to the Zambian market.
“AXEMA has undertaken a Trade Mission before in Zambia and our experience was good though we never exhibited but it is on our priority list,” said Lescaut in response.
Some of the Agri-Tech companies that Dr Kaseba visited were DENIS, Massey Ferguson, KUHN, Rolland, Berthoud, Manitdu and Technoma.