Eastern produces poor quality cotton

The Cotton Board of Zambia has described the quality of cotton produced in Eastern Province this year as not good.

East Cotton Inspector, Patrick Ndhlovu says that this is giving buying companies more work to properly grade the cotton.

Mr. Ndhlovu says that the companies have found themselves in a tricky situation as they are forced not to grade the cotton when buying from farmers because of the huge demand for the product.

He says that the companies fear that if they insist on grading the cotton when buying from farmers, other companies will buy the cotton.

Mr. Ndhlovu observes that the poor quality may have an effect on the product when selling on the international market.

And Mr. Ndhlovu says that it is too early to predict how much cotton has been produced in Eastern Province in the 2016-2017 season.

He says that the quantity will only be known when the marketing season closes in a month’s time.

Wina to grace Kulamba ceremony

Vice President Inonge Wina is expected to grace this year’s Kulamba traditional ceremony of the Chewa people of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says various ministers are also expected to attend the ceremony.

He says that President Edgar Lungu had loved to grace the ceremony, but will be busy with other national matters.

Mr. Kasolo also says most things are in place for the ceremony which takes place this Saturday at Mkaika headquarters in Katete district.

And Mr. Kasolo says the ceremony is important as it brings together people of the three countries.

He also says Kulamba ceremony is a big tourism attraction.

The permanent secretary reiterated the call by the organisers of the ceremony that no one should put on any political attire.

Loan conditions eased

Small and Medium enterprises SMEs, will now have opportunities to use movable assets to acquire loans from commercial banks, under the introduction of the Movable Property Security Interest Act.

Patents and Companies Registration Agency PACRA, Inspector of Companies Lloyd Musonda says, over seven hundred loans have so far been given to SMEs using the new act which was introduced last year.

Mr. Musonda says the movable property Security Interest Act stipulates that SMEs will be allowed to get loans from the banks using personal or movable property as collateral.

Speaking during a one day workshop this morning in Chipata, Mr. Musonda says under the Act, the risk of borrowing has been reduced.

He says due to the reduction of policy rate, his organization expects banks to reduce the rate at which they are lending to SMEs.

Mr. Musonda says SMEs can use vehicles, Agriculture equipment, Agriculture products such as cattle and households goods as collateral.

He says PACRA will be used as registration point for SMEs to start the process of accessing loans using the Movable assets.
The workshop has drawn participants from farmer organizations and some NGO’s, Non-governmental Organizations.

ZEMA considers projects worth US 383 million.

The Zambia Environmental Management Agency ZEMA in July this year considered projects with an estimated investment of 383 million United States dollars.

This brings the total estimated investment from January to July this year to about 11 billion United States dollars.

ZEMA Acting Manager for Corporate Affairs, Alexander Museshyo has confirmed this to Breeze News in a statement.

Mr. Museshyo states that in July, 2017, ZEMA considered a total of 63 Environmental Impact Assessment EIAs reports from various developers covering all sectors of development across the country.

He says that out of the 63 projects, 59 were approved, two were deferred pending submission of additional information from affected developers while two were rejected.

Mr. Museshyo says that the investment projects are in areas of energy, urban development, prospecting and mining, manufacturing and processing, agriculture and forestry and tourism.

He says that submitted projects were mainly from Energy and Development sectors.