President Hichilema yesterday officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the US$600 million Urea fertilizer and ammonia plant at the United Capital Fertilizer Zambia Company Limited in Lusaka’s Chilanga district.
The Plant is intended to help the country stop the importation of fertiliser in the next two years.
During the ceremony, the President stated that the UPND government are resolved to ensure that Zambia is food secure and that investment in areas such as this is most welcome.
“This is the enabling policy and business environment we wanted.
One of our policies is positive discrimination, as long as the Zambian company meets the standards required. This will create jobs and keep money circulating locally,” President Hichilema said.
The long-term strategy is for Zambia to progressively start importing lower quantities of fertilizer and other inputs used for food production.
The President said his government are firm believers in buying Zambian products, to build the country.
“We call on citizens out there to adapt and join us in action this slogan. Producing our own fertilizer ensures predictability for the farmers that use this product. It will also be cheaper as we also strive to be net exporters of this highly sought after commodity. Our focus is on more production, more export, and fewer imports, and we are confident that Zambia will not only be exporting goods and services but also skills. This is our focus,” President Hichilema said.
Speaking at the same event, Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo said once the plant is complete, Zambia will in the next two years self-sufficient in fertiliser.
And Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Chipoka Mulenga said the plant is a practical example of President Hichilema’s vision to get the economy back on track.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiohui said China will support Zambia to contribute to global food security.
Meanwhile, Zhang Jinyue, Vice President for Wuhuan Engineering Company, the firm that will construct the fertiliser plant said local people will be trained to run the plant which will have modern technology that promotes environmental sustainability.
The plant which will be producing Urea fertiliser has already created 750 jobs.