Tobacco farmers complain of long distances to markets

With the tobacco set to officially open today, some farmers have continued expressing worry over the long distances they will have to walk to sale their crop.

Some farmers in Vubwi and Lundazi districts have complained that the situation has been worsened by the poor state of roads that connect the two districts to Chipata.

Alfred Banda of Chief Mwasemphangwe’s area says the decision by TBZ, the Tobacco Board of Zambia to allow only two floors to open will disadvantage farmers.

Mr. Banda also called on authorities to find companies that can buy tobacco from private growers.

Meanwhile, Chief Chanje says two companies have indicated to him their interest to buy tobacco from independent growers.

The traditional leader says the companies have also already announced their prices, which are very good.

He, however, could not mention the names of the two companies.

Zambia urged to become productive

The Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI says Zambia should work on becoming a productive economy, if it is to benefit from the recent continental trade agreement.

EPCCI President, Thomas Mtonga, says while the agreement will remove the trade barriers between African countries, Zambia will not benefit if it continues being a consuming economy.

He told Breeze FM News that the chamber has always advocated for Zambia to have an opportunity to market itself outside.

Mr. Mtonga says there is currently very little trade that takes place within African countries, while those in other continents trade among themselves.

Mr. Mtonga says while the free trade agreement will come with a lot of benefits, Zambia should find a way of positioning herself in such a way that it does not become a dumping site of goods from other African countries.

He says if Zambia can start processing some of its raw materials instead of exporting them raw, more money will be coming into the country from other African countries.

Mr. Mtonga says the country should also invest in branding of local products and making them unique in order to secure a good share of the African market.

Women urged to go for cancer screening

Women in Lundazi district have been urged to go for cervical cancer screening.

Lundazi District medical director, Davy Wadula Zulu, says cervical cancer is a dangerous disease that claims over 500 lives of women in Zambia every year, but can be cured if discovered in the early stages.

Dr. Zulu explained that as a way of encouraging the majority women in the district to get screened and put on treatment, his office has put up interventions to assist those that are unable to visit health facilities on their own, to get screened.

He says among the interventions put in place are the mobile outreach screening of women in the rural parts of the district and sensitization on the importance of screening, especially those who are HIV positive.

Dr. Zulu adds that the interventions have so far proved to be effective as his office has been observing a lot of women coming through to get screened.

He has called on other non-governmental organizations to come on board and support the initiative of preventing deaths caused by cancer.