Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Dr. David Shamulenge has said that government is scaling up livestock programs in a quest to diversify farming activities in the country.
Dr. Shamulenge who said this when he toured infrastructure at Kalungwishi State Ranch in Mporokoso District added that government will provide an initial K5billion to the ranch to ensure that the estate that has been lying idle for the last 20 years was immediately revived.
He has stated that government was encouraging cattle, goat and pig rearing, dairy farming and will ensure that milk collection centers and farmer training centers were revived.
And speaking at the same occasion, Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba stated that Kalungwishi State Ranch will house a livestock training facility, will offer livestock services, and will be a cattle breeding centre for Northern Province.
Mr. Mwamba has stated that government had opted to revive the 46,000 hectare ranch as a way of securing the natural rich resource and ensure that there was optimum use for the land.
He says that when the ranch is fully operational, it could offer beef export opportunities for the country as it was located in a cattle-disease-free zone.
Mr mwamba also took the opportunity to announce that government was in the process of setting up three major farming blocks in Mporokoso, Luwingu and Mungwi districts and was consulting stakeholders such as chiefs, councils and, municipal authorities for the project.
He has stated that government was reluctant to give large tracts of land to a single investor but was encouraging investors to use out-grower schemes that will help create mass employment and let people engage in self sustaining agricultural activities.
He says government had embarked on ambitious infrastructure development in the province to ensure that sectors like agriculture, tourism and mining were carried out with ease.
He has also announced that government was in the process of picking a successful bidder who will be an equity partner in the Kateshi Coffee Company.
He says that when the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) advertised its sale, the process attracted three (3) serious bidders. He hoped that Kateshi will create the 10,000 projected seasonal jobs when fully functional.