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By NKOLE CHITALA


CABINET has approved the structure for administering land allocation in the proposed farming blocs across the country.

 

 

 

And the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has expressed concerns that most economic sector players apart from the Farmers Union have not developed sector codes as it had suggested.

Minister of Lands, Bradford Machila said the administration of farming blocs would be done through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to accommodate small-scale farmers.

Mr Machila was speaking at the CEEC ‘sector codes conference’ organized by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU).

Mr Machila said the administration programme would start with Nansanga farming bloc, which had 130,000 hectares to be allocated to small-scale farmers and commercial farmers.

He said Government was hoping that it would attract local and foreign investors in the farming blocs and take advantage of the CEEC.

Mr Machila said the intension of having both small scale and commercial farmers in the farming blocs was to encourage commercial farmers help small-scale farmers with skills and achieve economies of scale.

He said this would push the agenda in the agriculture sector, which was a Government priority.

Speaking at the same occasion, CEEC director general Mable Mun’gomba said that there was need for various sectors to actively participate in the sector codes to use them for empowerment.

Mrs Mungomba said the six months deadline had elapsed but none of the sectors had developed sector codes except the ZNFU which had engaged a consultant on the matter.

Section 24 (1) of the CEE Act provides for the issuance of the Sector Codes, which are specific targets that outline plans to achieve citizens economic empowerment.

She said it was important that sectors develop the sector codes so that they could have an input and bring out important issues.

Mrs Mun’gomba said the role of CEEC was to support the process so that it fits the ideals of citizen economic empowerment.

She said sectors that had not developed the codes would not benefit from the empowerment programme.

Meanwhile, ZNFU president Guy Robinson said the union had engaged Bob Schinga as a managing consultant to facilitate the development process of sector codes.
Mr Robinson said the consultant would ensure that all stakeholders were captured.

He said ZNFU fully supported the CEEC programme and that ZNFU would work very closely with the commission and all other stakeholders to achieve the intended objectives.

As a starting point in the development of Sector Codes, the CEEC had identified mining, financial services, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and Information and Communication Technology.

This year the commission drafted guidelines for developing sector codes that were sent to stakeholders.

Source: Daily Mail

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