Monday, 11 August 2014

88th Agriculture and Commercial Show

By MacPherson Mukuka
Zambia has all it takes for an overwhelming economic boom. The human resource, Good Climate and natural resources are all here to be trapped.
The Government of Zambia has prioritized agriculture because of its potential to serve as an engine for achieving broad based economic growth, diversifying production, increasing incomes and improving national and household food security.
Every last week of July to the first week of August of every year, Zambia host one of the most expensive Agriculture show piece on the African Continent the Agricultural and Commercial Show.
The show also offers a platform for cultural exchanges regionally and internationally, which is a catalyst for development for any country.
This year’s ACSZ will be hosted under the theme: 2014 breaking new ground, with the sub theme, commemorating 50 years of Zambia’s independence.
On Friday July 25th, 2014… I had an opportunity of interacting with some of show society members to find out how far the preparations have gone.
A tour was conducted around the show premises to check on the new developments before heading to the boardroom for a meeting with the society president.
Out in the field, Society Vice President Ben Shoko took us through some of the works that were taking shape in the ground… the new car park was the first place we visited.
Show goers are simply at the heart of the society, to this reason, the satellite bus stations introduced 3 years ago; have been maintained as Mr. Shoko explained further on this.
The society has also added two new outlets to allow show goers move freely without stamping on each other, Mr. Elliot Mhende, society chairman for development explained more on the safety movement of show goers.
The society other interest is on livestock, it provides a platform for livestock farmers to show exhibit their animals.
Dr. Benson Mwenya is a chairperson in charge of livestock; he explains the changes that have been made in the livestock section.
After a tour of close to an hour, we walked back to the boardroom for a meeting with Murray Anderson, society president.
In his statement, Mr. Anderson disclosed a sum of about 11 Million Kwacha will be spent during this year’s show. He said 5.1 Million Kwacha will go towards the hosting of the show while an additional 6.2 Million Kwacha has been channeled towards infrastructure development.
The Show will also be celebrated under a sub theme: commemorating 50 years of Zambia’s independence, how then has the show performed in the last 50 years?
The Agricultural and Commercial Show has become a leading Southern African region meeting place. Lusaka been capital City, also harboring the Headquarters for COMESA, and as such all member states find the show as a focal point to enhance and evaluate all their economic activities both current and future.
So far 17 countries, have confirmed their participation at this year’s 88th Agriculture and Commercial Show.

The first show was held in 1919 and has been held every year thereafter with the exception of the years 1921, 1941 to 1946 because of the first and second world war, and in 1966 as well due to Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence the previous November, which led to the occupation of a large part of the Showground by the aircrew of the Royal Air Force.

The venue of the show has changed six times from the Kafue River Bank site to a temporary site in Lusaka, where the National Institute of Public Administration stands. In 1951 it moved to its permanent location in the present day showground.


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