By JOHN KOMBE
THE US$35 million silk production project by Wonderful Group of Companies and the Chikwanda Chiefdom Trust of Chief Chikwanda in Mpika is a game changer, former Mpika District Commissioner, Sampa Muswema has said.
In an interview Mr. Muswema, observed that the project had already begun to positively impact the local community and that the production of silk, which commenced in May this year was poised to significantly contribute to economic development in Mpika and beyond.
He was confident the new dawn government would continue to support the investment as the government’s desire to take development to the districts will be a catalyst for such investments to grow.
He was also hopeful that his successor will continue to engage the investors who were committed to growing the business.
Mr. Muswema disclosed that more than 200 households who were displaced to pave way for the 5, 000 hectares farm have been empowered as out growers in the silk production project.
Mr. Muswema said that the out-grower schemes have been given mulberry seed which they are growing for the production of mulberry leaves which were being supplied as feed for the Silk Worms at the sericulture farm.
He said that supply chain support was a money-spinner and the locals were elated by the development.
Mr. Muswema also disclosed that the project which is called Mpika Sericulture Limited was already exporting silk to overseas markets.
He said that the Sericulture project which was located in Mutamba Village of Chief Chikwanda’s chiefdom would provide up to 5, 000 jobs once it reaches full production capacity.
He said that apart from the mulberry farm, the project had also constructed a production plant that had also contributed to job creation.