Prague, Aug 29 (CTK) – The Czech embassy in Zambia, opened last year, primarily focuses on development and economic cooperation with it in the sphere of agriculture, ambassador Radek Rubes told journalists today.
The Czech Republic helps small and medium-sized farmers improve efficiency of their production, Rubes said.
By means of the embassy, Czech companies look for new trade opportunities in Zambia, which might become a certain centre for their expansion to other African countries, he added.
The Czech embassy to Lusaka opened last May.
Last autumn a special mission came to the country in a search for the spheres in which the Czech development aid could be as efficient as possible.
The Czech Republic has decided to focus solely on the agricultural sector because it has experience in it. For Zambia, it is the top priority in its development plans.
Since Zambia, like a number of other countries, faces corruption, the development aid has specific rules, Rubes said.
“When it comes to the development aid and financing of projects, we try to have the financial flows under our control. We will never embark on the road of direct subsidies to the state budget, we will not embark on the road of subsidies for projects of individual ministries,” Rubes said.
“The projects are always set so that the money is specifically bound to some activities or to the purchase of some equipment we can check,” he added.
At present, the Czech Republic is primarily active in western Zambia where it helps small and medium-sized farmers ensure access to modern farming technologies and a better organisation of work.
Rubes said the Czech Republic also helped build model farms where farmers were taught a better organisation of agricultural work, providing the local cultivators information on the latest prices of their produce so that they do not fall prey to aggressive dealers.
Within the development project, a Czech firm delivers meteorological information to Zambian farmers, he added.
Czech firms are increasingly present at the agricultural fair in Chisamba, the biggest event of this kind in this part of Africa, Rubes said.
“Czech companies look for classical trade and trade partners, having a chance to be acquainted with lots of private farmers and private institutions during the fair,” he added.
There is mainly a demand for large agricultural equipment and its servicing, Rubes said.
“There are also Czech firms able to produce the equipment connected to solar energy, the solar panels and water pumps, which are quite demanded machines,” Rubes said.
Zambia can become a good starting point for further economic activities in this part of Africa, he added.