REMARKS BY MUSIKA MANAGING DIRECTOR, MR REUBEN BANDA, DURING THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE ZAMBEEF LIVESTOCK SERVICE CENTRES IN MBALA

HELD ON WEDNESDAY 9TH AUGUST, 2017

 


 

-        THE PERMANENT SECRETARY FOR NORTHERN PROVINVCE – DR KALUMBA

-        DISTRICT COMMISSIONER FOR MBALA -  KEDRICK SIKOMBE

-        ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS REPRESENTED

-        ZAMBEEF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

-        THE REPRESENTATIVE OF LELOISA VETERINARY SERVICES

-        THE REPRESENTATIVE OF AFRIVET ZAMBIA

-        FELLOW FARMERS

-        DISTINGUISHED INVITED GUESTS,

-        LET ME SIMPLY SAY ‘ALL PROTOCOLS’ OBSERVED,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

MUSIKA IS DELIGHTED TO BE PART OF THIS SPECIAL OCCASION AT WHICH WE’RE WITNESSING THE LAUNCH OF AN INITIATIVE BY ZAMBEEF - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LELOISA VETERINARY SERVICES AND AFRIVET - THAT WILL HELP TO UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL OF THE LIVESTOCK SECTOR IN NORTHERN AND MUCHINGA PROVINCES, AND IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS OF SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK FARMERS.

WITH FUNDING FROM THE SWEDISH EMBASSY IN LUSAKA AND THE UK GOVERNMENT’S DFID IN ZAMBIA, MUSIKA’S SUPPORT TO ZAMBEEF, LELOISA AND AFRIVET, IS INTENDED TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO VETERINARY DRUGS, VETERINARY SERVICES, GENETICS AND NUTRITION PRODUCTS TO SMALLHOLDER FARMERS LIVING IN MORE REMOTE AREAS IN WHICH MANY COMPANIES FIND IT DIFFICULT TO OPERATE. ABOVE ALL, THIS INTERVENTION WILL EQUIP FARMERS WITH TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING ON MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO HELP THEM MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR LIVESTOCK BUSINESSES, WITH ZAMBEEF PROVIDING AN ASSURED AND TRANSPARENT OFF-TAKE MARKET.

ALLOW ME TO COMMEND ZAMBEEF FOR TAKING THE BOLD DECISION TO INVEST IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LIVESTOCK MARKET OF NORTHERN PROVINCE WITH THE INTENTION TO SUPPLY THE MBALA ABATTOIR THAT HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED AT A GREAT COST. THIS TOGETHER WITH THE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS DEVELOPED BETWEEN YOURSELVES, LELOISA VETERINARY SERVICES AND AFRIVET WILL HELP BUILD A MORE SUSTAINABLE COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH FARMERS EVEN BEYOND MUSIKA’S SUPPORT.  

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

AS A NON-PROFIT ORGANISATION THAT STIMULATES AND SUPPORTS PRIVATE INVESTMENT IN THE SMALLHOLDER MARKET, MUSIKA’S ROLE - AS WITH ALL ITS INVESTMENTS - IS TO DEMONSTRATE THE BUSINESS POTENTIAL THAT EXISTS IN THE SMALLHOLDER MARKET.

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.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PRIVATE VETERINARY MARKET HAS BEEN ONE OF MUSIKA’S PRIORITIES, AS WE BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT THE SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK SECTOR IN THE NORTH HAS PERFORMED FAR BELOW ITS POTENTIAL WITH HIGH LEVELS OF DISEASE AND MORTALITY CRIPPLING WHAT SHOULD BE A HIGHLY VALUABLE PART OF THE SMALLHOLDER ECONOMY. WE HAVE SEEN ELSEWHERE THAT ACCESS TO GOOD QUALITY PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION HAVE A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF THE SMALLHOLDER CATTLE HERD AND THUS ON THE LIVELIHOODS OF FARMERS BUYING THESE SERVICES.

ALSO OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A ROBUST SMALLHOLDER-BASED SUPPLY CHAIN FOR LIVESTOCK. BY PROVIDING AN ASSURED MARKET FOR CATTLE AND OTHER LIVESTOCK, AND ADDITIONAL ‘VALUE ADDED’ MARKET SERVICES, SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK FARMERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO INVEST IN THEIR PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY. THIS MOST CERTAINLY ENCOURAGES ARABLE FARMERS TO DIVERSIFY THEIR BUSINESSES BY ALSO INVESTING IN LIVESTOCK.

IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT MUSIKA SUPPORTED ZAMBEEF, LELOISA AND AFRIVET IN REDUCING THE BUSINESS RISKS INVOLVED IN EXPLORING, TESTING, AND DEVELOPING THIS NEW MARKET BY SHARING OF SOME OF THE HIGH COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SEVEN FULLY EQUIPPED LIVESTOCK SERVICE CENTRES. WE ALSO SUPPORTED THE CAPACITY BUILDING AND MOBILITY OF THE EXTENSION STAFF AND SCOUTS TO ENABLE THE PROVISION OF AN EFFECTIVE EXTENSION SERVICE SUPPORT TO THE FARMING COMMUNITY.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, MUSIKA AIMS TO ACHIEVE A WIN-WIN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE FARMERS AND OUR PRIVATE AGRIBUSINESS PARTNERS. IN THIS REGARD, THE INTERVENTION WILL NOT ONLY BRING VETERINARY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AT THE FARMER’S DOORSTEP, BUT WILL ENHANCE KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND PRODUCT INFORMATION NECESSARY TO IMPROVE LEVELS OF PRODUCTIVITY AND INCOME  FOR MANY HOUSEHOLDS.

ON BEHALF OF THE MANAGEMENT OF MUSIKA, I WISH TO COMMEND ZAMBEEF FOR ADDING TO YOUR BUSINESS PORTIFOLIO THE PROVISION OF LIVESTOCK VETERINARY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES INCLUDING EXTENSION SERVICES THROUGH YOUR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH LELOISA AND AFRIVET. YOUR COMBINED EFFORT IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE COMMITMENT THAT YOU SHARE IN SEEKING SOLUTIONS THAT PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL SCALE AND EMERGENT FARMERS TO GRADUATE OUT OF POVERTY.

MUSIKA STANDS READY TO SUPPORT FURTHER INVESTMENTS AROUND NUTRITION SUCH AS FEEDLOTTING TO FURTHER STRENGTHEN THE SMALLHOLDER-BASED SUPPLY CHAIN. SUPPORT CAN ALSO BE GIVEN TOWARDS INTERVENTIONS THAT FOCUS MORE ON SMALL LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION INCLUDING GOATS AND VILLAGE CHICKEN THAT PROVIDE AN AVENUE FOR MORE WOMEN TO PARTICIPATE AND BENEFIT FROM THIS VALUE CHAIN.

AS I CONCLUDE, I WOULD LIKE TO URGE THE FARMERS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY BY MAKING USE OF THESE SERVICES THAT WILL HELP YOU DIVERSIFY AND IMPROVE YOUR FARMING BUSINESSES.

I THANK YOU ALL!