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Webinar Macfrut ” Challenges and opportunities for the zambian fruit and veg sector”

The Webinar organized on November 17th, 2020, by the Embassy was in collaboration with the Cesena MACFRUT Exhibition Center in hybrid mode, on platform and in presence, at the Zambian-Italian Cultural Center. In connection with Rimini, the Macfrut President Renzo Piraccini outlined Macfrut 2021 Fair, then giving the floor to the representatives of the Seed, Nursery, Irrigation and Technologies and Machinery sectors, who illustrated the possible collaboration areas to be develop with the Zambian partners for the development and trade of fruit and vegetables. We had the presence of the Ministry of Agriculture Representative, the President of the Zambian Association of Agriculture and Commerce, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and the representative of the European Union Delegation – Agriculture Sector; all of them reiterated the strengths of the country, such as the vast areas of territory that could be dedicated to agriculture, the workforce supply and the water resources available. On the other hand, however, the difficulties in the large-scale development of the sector prevail: lack of a local platform for marketing, lack of financial instruments even for small-medium enterprises,  lack of adequate export transport, lack of diversification of cultures, still almost exclusively based on the production of corn, the inadequacy of productivity tools and, last but not least, climate change. The European Union, on the other hand, illustrated a series of projects and the accessibility of development funds available, even to individual farmers. The representative of the Ministry of Agriculture also reiterated the great openness towards Italy to collaboration, investments and the development of common marketing strategies that can benefit the two countries. All the sectors that would favor the increase of fruit and vegetable productivity are the cornerstone for the development of the whole country to which much more attention must be paid.

The webinar was followed by 47 people online and 25 at ZICC (please note that local health provisions currently allow meetings of up to 50 people in the same room).

The Ambassador Maggiore took the opportunity to confer the “Knight of the Italian Star” Award to a Zambian lady, Lady Caroline Silwamba, who was the President of the Agricultural and Commerce Society for 5 years; Silwamba has actively collaborated with our Embassy and has done so much in collaboration with Macfrut for the participation of Zambian representatives at the Rimini Fair; She has always supported the role of women in agriculture with great tenacity by co-founding the “Zambian Women in Agriculture and Commerce Society”.

The whole event was filmed and broadcast by the local state television: Zambian National Broadcast Corporation (ZNBC)