REMARKS BY MUSIKA MANAGING DIRECTOR, MR REUBEN BANDA, DURING A WELCOME COCKTAIL RECEPTION FOR THE LUAPULA EXPO IN SAMFYA, LUAPULA PROVINCE

HELD ON 26TH JULY 2017

 


 

-        THE GUEST OF HONOR, THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL PLANNING, HONOURABLE LUCKY MULUSA

-        MINISTERS PRESENTS

-        DISTINGUISHED INVITED GUESTS

-        FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA

-        LET ME SIMPLY SAY ‘ALL PROTOCOLS’ OBSERVED,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

WE ARE EXTREMELY DELIGHTED TO BE PART OF THIS INGENIOUS EFFORT BY THE LUAPULA PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION, WORKING IN CONJUNCTION WITH VARIOUS GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR, TO UNLOCK THE NUMEROUS INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES THAT EXIST WITHIN THIS GREAT PROVINCE.

AS A NON-PROFIT COMPANY THAT WORKS TO STIMULATE AND SUPPORT PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT IN THE SMALLHOLDER MARKET, MUSIKA’S ROLE AT THIS EXPO- AS WITH ALL ITS INVESTMENTS - IS TO DEMONSTRATE THE BUSINESS POTENTIAL THAT EXISTS IN THE SMALLHOLDER MARKET. SIMPLY PUT, MUSIKA HELPS BUSINESS TO DO BETTER BUSINESS WITH THE SMALLHOLDER SECTOR, AND HAS SINCE 2012 FACILITATED SUSTAINABLE AND COMMERCIAL LINKAGES BETWEEN SMALLHOLDER FARMERS AND AGRIBUSINESSES.

WITH FUNDING FROM THE SWEDISH EMBASSY IN ZAMBIA, MUSIKA IDENTIFIES OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION TOGETHER WITH ITS AGRIBUSINESS PARTNERS AND CAN PROVIDE GRANTS THAT RESPOND TO SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS NEEDED TO ‘KICK START’ AN INVESTMENT BY A PARTNER. THESE GRANTS ARE GIVEN ON A COST-SHARED BASIS AND COME IN THE FORM OF INFRASTRUCTURE, LOGISTICS AND EQUIPMENT SUPPORT MEANT TO MITIGATE THE RISK OF MAKING INITIAL INVESTMENTS IN NEW GEOGRAPHIES, AND TESTING NEW BUSINESS MODELS OR NEW TECHNOLOGIES BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR. ANOTHER FORM OF GRANT SUPPORT IS THE USE OF CHALLENGE FUNDS TO HELP STIMULATE GROWTH IN SPECIFIC VALUE CHAINS OR ADDRESS SPECIFIC CONSTRAINTS WITHIN THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS, MUSIKA HAS IMPLEMENTED VARIOUS INTERVENTIONS COUNTRYWIDE THAT HAVE POSITIVELY IMPACTED OVER 380,000 SMALLHOLDER FARMERS. WITHIN OUR STRATEGY, WE HAVE DELIBERATELY PLACED SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE NORTHERN HUB, TARGETING NORTHERN, MUCHINGA AND LUAPULA PROVINCES.

SPECIFICALLY, IN LUAPULA PROVINCE, MUSIKA HAS SUPPORTED PRIVATE SECTOR EFFORTS TO DEVELOP AN EXTENSION LED ‘LAST MILE’ DISTRIBUTION NETWORK FOR AGRICULTURAL INPUTS. AND JUST RECENTLY, MUSIKA HAS STIMULATED AND SUPPORTED PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT IN THE COMMERCIALISATION OF CASSAVA, CHILIES AND MANGO PRODUCTION BY LINKING FARMERS TO MORE IMPROVED AND STRUCTURED MARKETS.

I AM PROUD TO REPORT THAT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH OVER 70 CORPORATE CLIENTS RANGING FROM MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES TO SMALL AGRIBUSINESSES. TOGETHER, WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED INTERVENTIONS THAT HAVE RESULTED IN OVER 2,500 SMALL BUSINESSES OPERATING WITHIN RURAL COMMUNITIES AND PROVIDING CRITICAL LINKS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN BETWEEN AGRIBUSINESSES AND SMALLHOLDERS COUNTRYWIDE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

LUAPULA PROVINCE PRESENTS ITSELF AS A REGION WITH GREAT AGRICULTURE POTENTIAL BOASTING OVER 116,000 HECTARES OF ARABLE LAND AND ABUNDANT WATER SOURCES. THIS PRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE AGRIBUSINESSES TO EXTEND THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF CROP, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES AMONG OTHERS, THAT WILL IMPROVE THE LIVELIHOODS AND INCOMES OF SMALLHOLDER COMMUNITIES THAT ENTIRELY DEPEND ON AGRICULTURE.

AS MUSIKA, WE STAND READY TO SUPPORT EFFORTS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO INVEST IN THE SMALLHOLDER MARKET AND HELP CONTRIBUTE TO THE GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

WITH THESE FEW REMARKS, I WISH TO REMIND ALL STAKEHOLDERS THAT THIS EXPO IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF BETTER THINGS TO COME. I URGE EVERYONE ONE OF YOU TO CONTINUE THE INTERACTIONS BEYOND THIS EVENT SO THAT WE CAN MAKE THE DREAM OF MAKING LUAPULA PROVINCE THE NEXT PREFERRED INVESTMENT DESTINATION A REALITY.

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!