SYLVA Professional Catering Services and College Limited has acquired soup processing machine which will enable it export the Zambian vegetable soups to the United States (US) under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) arrangement.
The firm will, therefore, start exporting the commodity to the US market in November this year following a deal it clinched last year to supply 15, 000 Kilogrammes of the Zambian vegetable soups to that vast market monthly.
Managing director Sylvia Banda said that her firm would be producing soups made out of pumpkin leaves, moringa, pumpkins and other local products.
Ms Banda said in an interview in Lusaka that the company would employ about 900 people on permanent basis once it starts its full operations.
"I am happy to tell you that the machines we imported are now in the country, we will have them installed just after this year's Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show. We will produce samples which will be on both local and international markets and by November we will fully fill both markets," she said.
Ms Banda said the company needs about 1,000 hectares of land for setting up the processing plant.
"All is in place but what is delaying the construction of the factory is land. We were given land by the ministry of Lands without being told the dimensions, but we have been told that new land will be allocated.
"We are also waiting for feedback from Chibombo , Kabwe and Chongwe councils, once this is done we will be up and running," she said.
She said that the company had produced more than 1,000 Zambian soup samples which where offloaded at the just-ended Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF).
"We produced over 1,000 of soups to sample during the trade fair, we sold all we went with and it is from this that I can say the products have been well-received on the market," Ms Banda said.
Under the training programme, Ms Banda said that the firm had now started training farmers on food processing saying that a successful training was conducted in Mozambique.
She said this was aimed at sensitising farmers on the importance of vegetable processing to meet the export market standards.