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Comesa developing agro-processing sector strategy

The Post, Zambia

Comesa developing agro-processing sector strategy

By Mutale Kapekele

8 March 2011

COMESA is developing an agro-processing sector strategy in partnership with the International Trade Centre under the All-African Caribbean Pacific Agricultural Commodities Programme.

Available data shows that in the developed countries, more than 98 per cent of all primary agricultural products are sold to agro processing facilities, while in the Comesa region, only 30 per cent are sold to processing facilities. As a result, around 30 per cent of all cereals produced and up to 50 of fruit produced was wasted.

Comesa director of investment promotion and private sector development Dr Chungu Mwila described this as a gloomy picture that needed to be challenged and improved.

Recognising the challenge, Comesa, in collaboration with ITC under the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme, was developing the agro-processing sector strategy to capture the full value of production and create employment, reduce poverty levels and increase economic growth.

“The eventual strategy is intended to describe and prioritise
practical regional solutions and activities across all stages of agri-food sectors’ value chains,” Dr Mwila said.

“It will take into consideration the considerable body of existing work, studies, national strategies and regional policy instruments.”