4 January 2012

Zambia: Sylva Group Takes Zamsoup to U.S

The 11th annual AGOA is underway in Washington, D.C. and VOA's State Department correspondent Scott Stearns discusses the meetings. ( Resource: Africa: AGOA Forum Discussion

THE Sylva Group of Companies has projected to export 32 tonnes of Zamsoup into the United States market this year under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The company managed to gain access to the USA market to supply the locally processed soup following the AGOA meeting, which was held in Lusaka last year.

Sylva Group of Companies operations manager Morgan Chipopu said the company will start exporting eight tonnes of Zamsoup on a quarterly basis into the US.

Mr Chipopu said the company had to diversify from dealing with dried vegetables, to the processing of soup.

In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Chipopu said the soup would be exported to the European market as well.

He noted that the company was inactive in 2011 in terms of exports as the firm concentrated more on acquiring the processing machine.

"We are expecting the machine to arrive in the country in the next one week," he said.

Mr Chipopu said in the year under review, the firm also concentrated more on building the base for raw materials from small-holder farmers.

"We were also building our raw material base from the small-holder farmers because we source the raw materials from the out-grower farmers so we have built the capacity in the famers and we target to export eight tonnes in the first quarter of this year," he said.

Mr Chipopu said farmers had been trained on how to dry vegetables and improve on the quality of their produce.

The training is meant to sensitise the farmers in rural areas on how to process their raw vegetables and fruits to meet the requirements of the export market.

"We were also working on meeting the target and requirements of exporting our product to the US market. We were specifically working on the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) which is one of the requirements of exporting to the US under AGOA," Mr Chipopu said.

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