Lusaka SMEs cash in on agri show

SOME Lusaka small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have greatly benefited from the just ended Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show and have asked the show society management to consider increasing the number of days.

The show, running from 27 July to 1st  August under the theme ‘‘Managing the environment for growth’’, attracted local and foreign exhibitors and observers from as far as West and Southern Africa, whose companies and organizations exhibited agricultural and artistic products.

Lusaka resident Gerald Masata, who was selling clothes and shoes, said although he had exhibited a few commodities he had made a profit and that his business boomed on Saturday.

He advised fellow vendors and youths in the country to ensure that next time they applied for exhibition stands from ASCZ and make money to help them pay for their tertiary education.

Mallon Ngulube, who traded in children’s toys, said he made a lot of sales at the show compared to his daily sales in streets.

He said he made an abnormal profit after hiking the mark-up on his goods to match the mood of the show and customers were snapping his merchandise like hot cakes.

Mr Ngulube has asked the Government and organizers of the show to consider adding more days so as to enable local traders benefit even more.

Ms Asitha Adams, who dealt in ladies cosmetics, said she does not regret having a stand at the show because although it was expensive it was worthy it as she managed to recover her money in just two days.

She said she was into cosmetics business because Zambian women were more fashionable and indulged a lot in the world of make-ups.

Ms Adams said although it was Government’s intention to empower women, it was the responsibility of the women themselves to act to take advantage of this opportunity.

She was impressed that most local people exhibited at this year’s agriculture and commercial show, especially women vendors.

‘‘Once a woman is empowered, her children and grandchildren’s children get empowered as well. Women should ensure that every woman in their respective areas belongs to a women’s club,’’ Ms Adams said.

And Ms Nyama Sampene, who keeps village chicken, said the ACSZ event was Zambia’s mirror reflecting the nation’s economic growth and its potential to the outside world.

She urged women to come up with initiatives to make a living instead of allowing themselves to be  abused by their husbands whenever they asked for money to buy food or school books for their children.

She said whenever their husbands had money they spent it on  girlfriends and beer, leaving their wives and children starving.

The Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show is the country’s premier expo held in the capital city for five day to mark Farmers’ Day holiday observed on the first Monday of August.

The first show was held in 1919 and has over the nine decades become the leading platform for agricultural exhibition, trading and cultural exchange regionally and internationally.