TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Zambian Agricultural Sector Struggling To Utilise AGOA Benefits

Friday, 12 September 2003

Source: The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

ZAMBIA has so far only managed to export one agro produce, snow peas, directly to the American market out of the six that had been earmarked for that market under the American Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The produce that were being mitigated by experts from the Animal Planting Inspection Health Service (APIHS) an American institution, were babycorn, chillies, green beans, asparagus and magnut.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) assistant secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya confirmed this yesterday in an interview in Lusaka.

Mr Ngwenya said it was vital for Zambia to penetrate the AGOA market directly in order to earn more foreign exchange and reduce poverty levels.

He said the agro produce was on high demand on the American market and COMESA was keen to ensure that many African countries broke into that market.

"The market is in billions of dollars and the demand is still huge and as Comesa we want to ensure that most African produce is approved," he said.

He noted that a number of African countries were unable to penetrate the AGOA market due to some conditionalities being demanded by the US market.

Mr Ngwenya said a team from Africa Trade Policy (ATPI) were in the country from today to offer regional laboratory training.

He said there was need for an integrated textile industry in Zambia in order to be able to produce garment that would contribute to national development.

He said Zambia would generate more income if it exported cut fabrics directly to the US.