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The ‘Buy Zambian’ campaign lives on

Its Wild Peanut Butter

  PROUDLY Zambian! Not very long ago we saw adverts hitting the media compelling Zambians to buy local products. I will not be wrong to guess that this was after they saw similar campaigns in South Africa, as we are good at being reactive and not proactive. We saw ‘Uncle K’ being featured in some adverts on our national television as well as the legendary Jeff Sitali – ‘Mr Cavity’. However, this drive has died a natural death because we no longer see such; we are back to buying South African chocolates. In any case, do we have any factory making chocolates in Zambia?

   I don’t know whether this campaign had any impact on my buying behaviour because I convinced myself earlier that I needed to support the local industries if they were to thrive. However, I will not do this at the expense of compromising on quality. I should brag here that I am amongst the few Zambians that are patriotic and I want to share with you some of my buying habits in this column. In 2012/13, I worked quite closely with Katete and Chipata Women Development Associations on their thrive to be pressing cooking oil from groundnuts and sunflower as a way of creating markets for the local farmers as well as improving the nutrition status of the community around their operation areas. These women associations press oil and nicely packaged it in 2.5 and 5-litre containers which are sold in their communities. I have made it a habit to support these ‘cluster’ industries and every time I drive to Chipata I buy about 10 drums of 5 litres which lasts me close to a year. I have been doing this since 2013. The other thing I have vowed never to buy in some of these chain stores is the potatoes. 

   I was surprised to find that a 10kg pouch was costing K80 in one of the famous shops. What I do for potatoes is that every time I drive up north, I buy about two to three pockets at ZNS Naambe just before Kabwe. The roadside vendors there buy these potatoes from a white farmer on the east called Mr Brown. I know that for every pocket of potatoes I buy, I am sustaining two jobs; the farm labourer and that of the vendor. If I have no apparent trip to Kabwe, I drive to Chilanga and buy from around that place. For my mealie meal, it’s not a secret that every year l cultivate a ‘shamba’ whose maize I take to the grinding mill for my ‘miner grain borers’ to feed on. This is similar to rice; I feed on Mongu or Kaputa rice. I had worked with those farmers before, so I try to support my efforts.

 When it comes to my laundry, no washing paste or powder beats my Boom. I very well know that Boom is manufactured by Trade Kings, a Zambian company.
However, I should make mention here that I have sometimes been disappointed by some of the local products. This has forced me to buy foreign products. For instance, I love my relish with hot chili sauce and I have been a fan of a particular sauce. I used to think it was a Zambian product until I read on the label that it was a foreign product. From the time, I looked for an alternative product to substitute it. I came across a similar looking product which I have chosen not to mention because of what you are about to read. I first bought this product in one of the local shops near my homestead but I was disappointed by the quality. 

  Firstly, though it was written on the label that it was hot chili, the product was mild. Secondly, it smelt of too much ‘raw’ tomato and the texture of the paste was not as coarse. I thought that probably it had lost the original quality because of the poor storage in the shop. After about a month of torturing myself to ensure I empty the content, I decided to go to one of the chain stores at one shopping mall and bought a similar product. I was so disappointed that the quality was similar to the earlier product. I was left with no option but to get the contact details of the company behind that particular product. I sent them an email expressing my displeasure with the quality of their product. I am happy to report that they responded and assured me that it was just one batch which was not produced to specifications. 

  Though I expected them to go a bit further and indicate that they were recalling all products from that batch but they assured me that they would improve on the quality. I have given them up to month end of June and if they don’t improve on the quality, they should be assured that they will lose one customer. As we drive the campaign to buy local products, the onus is on the manufacturers to up the quality to match the international standards. Otherwise, let’s support our own; local is lekker!

This author is an agribusiness practitioner.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail Website Written by FELIX TEMBO

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  1. This article has strengthened my goal to buy and support local. Let's keep this alive.

    1. Thank you! Please feel free to share the link far and wide. All the best, TEAM Top ZED Brands.

  2. we need more of such articles...


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