ZAMBIA has made its first export of coffee beans to Japan, marking the revival of the country’s coffee industry which was at peak 10 years ago.
The first shipment of Zambian coffee beans by Northern Coffee Corporation Limited (NCCL) owned by Olam International of Singapore to Japan was made yesterday.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Given Lubinda launched the shipment in Kasama yesterday by NCCL to Ueshima Coffee Co Limited (UCC) of Japan, in Kasama yesterday.
“This investment has today resulted in the first harvest and shipment of premium coffee produced in Zambia destined for market in Japan.
“This also demonstrates the crop diversification strategy aims at rationalising the use of agricultural productive resources and encouraging production of crops based comparative advantage of agro-ecological regions,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said that Government would continue to provide a conducive investment environment for business to thrive.
Mr Lubinda said Zambia would be able to earn the much needed foreign exchange in the economy through increased and sustained coffee exports.
Speaking at the same event, Japanese ambassador to Zambia Kiyoshi Koinuma said the export was a welcome development that UCC had decided to use Zambian coffee beans raw materials and create the value chain.
“There are still many Japanese companies interested in Zambian agriculture, and I hope that with this, the establishment of the value chain between Zambian agricultural products and Japanese companies will be further advanced,” Mr Koinuma said.
He was optimistic that the cordial relationship in the economic sector between Zambia and Japan would be further strengthened.
And NCCL commercial head of Eastern and Southern Africa, Varun Mahajan said NCCL was the largest employer in Northern Province after Government, with 320 permanent employees and more than 2000 seasonal workers.
“We would like to thank UCC, Japan for recognising the potential of Zambian coffee and being the first company in Japan to start importing Zambian coffee from NCCL,” he said.
Mwine lubemba Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II called on NCCL to incorporate the out grower schemes in the production of coffee in order for the smallholder farmers to benefit.