We cannot wait for a time that sees both local and foreign investors start value addition industries which we shall be more than happy to launch as they will employ a lot of our people, especially youths and women, through direct and indirect jobs.
For example, we see it as a seriously missed opportunity for us to be exporting raw grain maize to other countries when we could easily have milled and exported it as mealie meal, feedstock, and other products.
We could have earned more than 3 times the foreign revenue just from our maize grains being locally processed by our people and exported to our neighbours as finished products, hence contributing to the stabilisation of our currency.
By so doing, lots of direct and indirect jobs would have been created in the value chain and the maize price for our farmers increased.
Now we are exporting grains, which simply means we are also exporting jobs because our importers will now process the same maize and later export things such as feedstock to us in foreign currency, meaning we lose forex while they earn from our products.
And we can do the same with our tomatoes, mangoes, fish, bananas, groundnuts, and much of our agricultural produce. Such poverty reduction measures are areas in which our candidate in the Lubansenshi bye election, Hon. Patrick Mucheleka, is very passionate and ready to help deliver.
That is part of our robust economic diversification programme to move away from traditional exports of raw metals.