Coastweek, May 27, 2012
The government will invest in irrigation, development and rehabilitation of livestock infrastructure, control and eradication of livestock diseases, promotion OF fisheries
The Zambian government’s decision to come up with detailed investment plans aimed at enhancing various types of investments in the agricultural sector has received the support of stakeholders in the country.
Last week, Minister of Agriculture Emmanuel Chenda said the government will soon embark on drawing up detailed investment plans to enhance various types of investment development in the agricultural sector.
According to the Zambian minister, the detailed investment plans, once finalized, would direct the flow of investments in the agricultural sector and that government’s key strategies and interventions in the agricultural sector included extending support to crops beyond maize, strengthening research and extension services.
The Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) – an international organization dealing with trade and consumer issues- has welcomed the government’s decision saying it will go a long way in boosting agricultural production.
“It is a welcome development because the idea is to direct investment in various areas of agriculture unlike in the past when most of the investment was just going to maize production,” Love Mtesa, the organization’s Chairman told Xinhua in a telephone interview.
The official said the idea is good and should be supported by all stakeholders because it will not only improve production but also help consumers have a wider choice of agricultural products and enhance agro-processing in the country.
The Zambian Minister said the government will also invest in irrigation, development and rehabilitation of livestock infrastructure, control and eradication of livestock diseases and promotion of sustainable fisheries.
The government, he said, will also reform agricultural marketing system and input programs as well as promote agro- processing and value-addition and promote the use of high see varities and proven agricultural practices like conservation farming. Currently, around 70 percent of Zambia’s population is engaged in some form of agriculture.
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