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Zambian small scale farmers can start creating co-operatives in readiness for a totally new market in Asia. On August 16th last year the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Development and Reform Commission announced that they had confirmed with the World Bank that China’s national per capita national income had reached US$1,740.
Their disposable income per capita of urban residents increased 11.3% compared with the same period of the previous year, after deducting the price increasing factors, the real increase rate was 8.6%. The expenditure per capita increased 9.9%, and a real increase of 7.2%. Of which, the services expenditure increased 8.6%.
This means that the Chinese economy is moving from an agricultural type we have always known it to be into an industrialized phase. With shrinkage of the grain harvesting area, with the loss of irrigation water, with desert expansion, with the conversion of cropland to non-farm uses, with the shift to higher-value crops and the loss of farm labor to the coastal provinces – China faces an uncertain food security future.
In the North China Plain, for instance, which produces half of China’s wheat, water tables are falling by 3 to 10 feet per year, and China will soon be, for the first time in its history, dependent upon the outside world to feed itself. And that’s where the co-operative farmers from the Zambian Enterprise could come in and reap “GOLD” by aligning themselves with the future crop needs China will soon itself with.
But why co-operatives? It is because these (co-operatives) have the capacity to mobilize both the human and financial resources needed and work with the Chinese Embassy in Lusaka using an organized front while at the same time finding sister co-operative organizations in China to operate as export centers for them.
There are two kinds of China, the New China and the old China. The New China is highly industrialized, highly technical and highly cutting edge but it still relies on the Old china for food supplies. Old China is co-operative based and partnering with Old China would reap the highest benefits in a symbiotic fashion.
Incidentally, nearly all of China’s foods can be raised in Zambia. For instance their favorite meat is pork, they eat a lot of ducks, regular hens from villages and whole food fish similar to what can be harvested in Lake Tanganyika, rice from Western and Luapula provinces and corn from Southern province.
Cargo freight could start picking up food exports to China as early as next year from Lusaka via Dubai into Xian in readiness for Beijing Cuisine the following day. China is a huge market and with 1.3 billion mouths to feed not even the Zambian Enterprise can feed all of them but therein lays a huge opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs … thanks a trillion.
Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.
CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle
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