By JOHN KOMBE
Government is elated that more than 200 households in Chief Chikwanda’s chiefdom in Mpika will be empowered as out growers in the Mpika silk production project with an initial US$ 35 million .
The project is expected to create more than 2, 000 jobs.
In an interview, Mpika District Commissioner, Sampa Muswema disclosed that the sericulture project was being undertaken by Wonderful Group of Companies in cooperation with the Chikwanda Chiefdom Trust of Chief Chikwanda.
He was pleased that the villagers who were displaced to pave way for the 5, 000 hectares silk production plant and farm will benefit from the project.
Mr Muswema revealed that the district agriculture office was currently engaging the villagers so that they form cooperatives.
He also said that forming cooperatives would help the villagers to have collective bargaining power in the project.
The out-grower schemes, he said, would be given mulberry seed which they will grow and supply to the sericulture project.
He said that this would be an economic earner for the community and noted that the out-grower schemes would greatly improve the economic and social life of the community.
Mr Muswema disclosed that the project which is called Mpika Sericulture Limited had completed growing the nurseries for the mulberries.
He said that the mulberry leaves would provide feed for the silk worms that will in turn produce the silk and that the Sericulture project which was located in Mutamba village in Chief Chikwanda’s chiefdom was a game changer for Mpika and the country at large.
Mr Muswema was happy to note that the company had already established market contacts in the United Kingdom, United States of America and China among others countries.