LUSAKA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Friday called on farmers to increase wheat production so that the country becomes self-sufficiency in wheat.
While acknowledging that wheat production has been increasing over the years, the Zambian leader said the country has not yet reached a level where it was able to meet local demand.
"For businesses such as bakeries to survive, we still have to rely on wheat imports. This calls for increased wheat production locally, and increased local capacity to process," he said when he commissioned an ultra-modern milling plant in Lusaka, the country's capital by National Milling Corporation owned by Seaboard Corporation of the United States of America.
According to him, increasing wheat production and processing will result in improved supply and price of wheat flour, a situation that will even enable the country start exporting the commodity.
He expressed happiness that the commissioned milling plant has the capacity to process about 600 tons per day, adding that more farmers should be encouraged to start growing wheat and expand their production because of a ready market.
He said value addition to raw materials was vital if Zambia was to become a middle income country by 2030 and if the economy was to flourish.
Ralf Moss vice-president of Seaboard Corporation commended the Zambian government for creating a conducive environment for foreign investment to flourish.
He said the milling plant, constructed at a cost of 37.5 million dollars, was unique in Africa.