Gondwe hails East agro contribution to GDP
Published On February 19, 2014 » 2210 Views» By Administrator Times » Business, Stories
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BANK of Zambia Governor Dr Michael Gondwe has said Eastern Province has been a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through its strong performance in agriculture.
Dr Gondwe said during the official opening of First National Bank (FNB) in Chipata on Tuesday that according to the 2012/13 crop production statistics, the province was the highest producer of maize in the country.
It accounted for 22.6 per cent of the 2.5-million tonnes total national production.
He said the province was the highest producer of industrial crops such as  sunflower, seed cotton, and burley tobacco at 74.5 per cent, 60.1 per cent and 86.7 per cent of the national totals respectively.
“The province’s attractive investment opportunities have seen the emergence of multi-national agricultural companies such as Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Leaf Zambia and Cargill being  involved in tobacco and cotton out-grower schemes respectively,” he said.
Dr Gondwe said the province was the leading producer of groundnuts at 28.7 per cent of the country’s total output of 106.792 tonnes.
The province has a sizeable number of herds of livestock like cattle, goats and pigs which with increased investment would grow to level that would add to employment and increased incomes among households.
With respect to tourism, Dr Gondwe said the province was a home to untamed South Luangwa National Park and the glamorous and internationally acclaimed Nc’wala ceremony together with several other traditional and cultural ceremonies which were major tourist attractions.
He said he was aware that the province was also a major contributor to the country’s gemstone and precious metals industry largely dominated by small scale miners.
The precious metals find themselves in the cities of the World’s richest countries where they fetch good amounts of money.
Chipata is Zambia’s gateway to the Nacala Corridor.

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