31 July 2012

Zambia: Trailer Company Taps Into DRC Market

A LOCAL manufacturing Kafue -based firm has been producing up to 40 commercial light trailers per annum and has managed to penetrate the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) market.

Fens Investment Limited, a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) manufacturing company , was established in 2006 and currently produces trailers, mobile kiosks, school desks, hospital examination beds and agricultural equipment like spray races and ox-carts.

Company chief executive officer Felix Nseluka said his firm was currently manufacturing between 30 and 40 commercial light trailers every year at low-production capacity, adding that if the working capital was enhanced it could produce more.

In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Nseluka said Fens Investment got the concept of the trailers from South Africa and made it more durable and suitable for the local environment.

"We got the concept of manufacturing the trailers from South Africa and we made some few changes because we realise that here in Zambia our terrain and road network is not all that good so we had to add some innovation to suit our environment," he said.

He said competitive SMEs were key economic renewal and employment creation , adding that innovation and knowledge were drivers of competitiveness and growth.

Mr Nseluka said Zambia lagged behind when it cames to knowledge creation or innovation capacity particularly in the SME sector.

"Innovation is a crucial means to create comparative advantage and superior customer value. The ability to innovate can thus be a prerequisite of enterprise development and entrepreneurship.

"If you look at the moment we are trying to boost our agriculture sector, animal section and there is a lot of innovation that comes with that," Mr Nseluka said.

He said Fens Investment's trailers held managed to penetrate in the DRC market and the company would be exploring markets in other countries in the region.

"It is important to note that we have improved our mechanism in the making of trailers and spray races because of innovation which has enabled us to bring them down to the level that is acceptable to the local entrepreneurs.

"We have supplied trailers to the Zambian farmers, transporters and the general public and I can confirm to you that the Fens trailers are doing fine," he said.

Mr Nseluka said there was need for the Government to raise awareness on the importance of innovation for economic growth.

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