The Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa says Government will soon engage South Africa on how farmers can access the US$1 billion soya cake market following demand in that country.
Mr Shawa said Zambia which has this year produced about 390,000 metric tonnes of soya beans from 340,000 tonnes last year, could tap into that market and increase its trade levels with that country.
He said at the just-ended Zambia-South Africa Trade and Investment forum that the demand by South Africa could boost production levels among Zambian farmers, thus contribute to accelerating trade volumes between the two countries.
“We want to clinch that deal; there are a number of people sitting on soya beans. We need to ensure that we add value by exporting the cake and not the beans.
“If South Africa can confirm that they are willing to get our cake, the people will be more than happy to send it,” Mr Shawa said.
Earlier, South Africa-based Africa Integration and Industrial Development (AIID) urged Zambia to export soya beans to South Africa, which currently imports million tonnes of soya beans from Brazil.
AIID chief director Nigel Evans said importing from Zambia will go a long way in reducing the cost of importing from Brazil and Eastern Europe.
“Zambia is next door and produces quality soya beans yet South Africa has to import from Brazil, which is far. I think Zambia has an amazing climate for soya beans, the production is increasing at about 20 percent a year – why can’t we import soya cake from Zambia?” he said.