Lusaka, Zambia Stanbic Bank Zambia has called for more investment in the livestock sector to stimulate the government’s diversification of the economy.
Speaking at the annual Stanbic Livestock Auction at the Lusaka Showgrounds, the bank’s Head of Agribusiness, Leon Kotze, said agriculture had an important role to play in the country’s economic diversification.
“Stanbic has always been passionate about driving Zambia’s growth. We believe economic diversification is one of the most effective ways of achieving this. We have invested heavily in various growth sectors - including over K2 billion in the agricultural industry – which makes Stanbic Bank the country’s largest financier of agriculture,” he said.
Agriculture can help migrate Zambia away from its over-dependence on copper. Kotze suggested it is in everyone’s interest for large companies - such as Stanbic - to supplement government efforts in developing strategies to stimulate accelerated growth in agriculture.
Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Hon. Kampamba Mulenga and Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane attended the event, held in collaboration with the Herd Book Association of Zambia, and helps boost Zambia’s livestock sector by encouraging improved breeding and trade in top-class animals.
Agriculture, employing about 70% of the population, is a priority growth sector in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). It contributes about 6% to GDP, 42% of which is from livestock.
The Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on several projects, including new artificial insemination centres, and revamping the national artificial insemination centre in Mazabuka - to ensure genetically superior animals are available on the Zambian market.
This year’s Stanbic Livestock Auction featured strategically bred goats, rams and bulls - the main attractions. Breeds up for auction included beefy Santa Gertrudis, gorgeous Heifers, masculine Bonsmara bulls and many more.
Auctioned livestock comes with documentation proving it is healthy and in prime condition.
Events like the Stanbic Livestock Auction are vital, as they not only create a market for high quality animals, but also bring animal breeders, sellers, buyers, policy makers and influential players in the agro-value chain together in one place to interact and exchange ideas for the good of the industry.