Seal porous borders to raise more cash, State urged

ZAMBIA is losing tremendous amounts of revenue through loopholes in non-exisitent boarder posts, Zambeef joint chief executive officer Francis Grogan has said. Speaking when Finance Minister Felix Mutati visited Zambeef farms in Mpongwe, Mr. Grogan said the country could benefit immensely from its geographical location especially on the northern front as there was a lot of economic activity in the agriculture sector because there was a lot of unregulated trade going on. He said places such as Kipushi in North Western Province where there was a buzz in economic activities between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo could contribute greatly to Government revenue if Zambia considered putting a proper border post where Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) could be collecting revenue from as the country was losing out on foreign exchange. He said a proper border post and a good road network will boost international trade in the corridor as most of the surrounding countries depended on Zambia for food as the northern corridor had fertile soils, favourable weather conditions and received adequate rainfall for the production of rain-fed crops such as maize which was on high demand in neighbouring countries. He said there were a lot of economic activities around Kipushi which if well-harnessed would not only bring the desired foreign exchange to the country but would also increase productivity among small scale farmers as they would have a ready market for their produce at competitive prices, thereby according them an opportunity to grow. “The northern corridor also produces a lot of food which can feed the whole of Southern Africa and an improved road network can add immensely to the improvement of the agriculture sector because most of our neighbouring countries depend on us for food. The northern corridor can actually grow more food than it is doing now if the road network is improved and that means that small scale farmers can graduate and become large scale farmers because they will have ready market for their produce,” Mr. Grogan said.