I had the opportunity to visit the Czech Republic recently on an agricultural tour through the country, courtesy of AgriServe Agro. I also had the privilege of meeting the Czech Minister of Agriculture, Marian Jurečka (picture). He is very passionate about Africa and does his best to support trade and agricultural development in Zambia. He sees it as part of his duties to support the Zambian farmers.
It also struck me with how much passion and vigour the Czech farmers and service providers were driving agriculture in all the sectors to lift it out of the weak position caused by communism under the Soviet Union. In some respects they are already on par with the Western world which embraced a free market system for many decades.
They have first-hand experience in how it feels when government do their day to day planning for them and they are determined to ensure that it will never happen again. The Czech Republic has strong trade relations with Zambia, dating back from the 1960’s when the former Czechoslovakia developed a keen interest in our former Northern Rhodesia’s natural resources, especially copper.
The expansion of trade already exceeded 60 million Czech Krone in the early 60’s. The products involved included agricultural machines like the Zetor tractor. After independence in 1964, the trade intensified and Czechoslovakia opened an embassy in Lusaka in 1965. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, trade slowed down, but in 2007 it was kicked into shape again and it is growing stronger by the day.
Read the story in this edition about the close trade relations between Breeding Cooporative Impuls in the Czech Republic and the one in Zambia. Recently, the president opened the Novatek feed plant in Mpongwe and AgriFocus reveals their plans for the 2018 planting season. We also started off with new series on sheep handling, oil seed processing and one on spraying techniques.
Du Preez de Villiers – firstname.lastname@example.org
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