By JACKSON MAPAPAYI
CHIEF Matebo of the Kaonde people in Kalumbila district has released 250 hectares of land to the Zambia Forestry and Forests Industry Corporation (ZAFFICO) for the establishment of a forest plantation in the district.
Chief Matebo said the project would bring development and create jobs for the people in his area.
The traditional leader said this when a team of officers from ZAFFICO led by director of plantations Chota Ngalande called on him at the weekend.
“That is welcome because these are Government supported program and as a traditional I work with the Government of the day and I very much welcome the idea of course having you on board in our chiefdom will mean job creation for my people.
“We want to see our people to benefit from this kind of project. My chiefdom actually sits on 470, 000 hectares of land and i think for a start we can give you 250 hectares as authorized by Government,” Chief Matebo said.
Chief Matebo assured ZAFFICO officials that more land would be released in future for the expansion of the plantation.
“The people will see the benefits and we need to go down to the people and explain the benefits that will derive from that kind of investment,” he said.
And Mr Ngalande said about 400 jobs would be created in Matebo chiefdom once the forest plantation was set up in the area.
He said Government has directed ZAFFICO to identify land in North-Western Province for the establishment of forest plantations.
“We also feel we can expand our operations by having a footprint in North-Western Province,” Mr Ngalande.
He said ZAFFICO move on site as soon as possible to start land preparation so that the project could kick off by December this year.