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The Agriculture sector in Zambia: A call for action for transformation
Lusaka, Zambia- Sunday, 01 December -2019 - The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa through its Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa and the Government of Zambia will hold a conference on the “Transformation of Agriculture in Zambia” scheduled to take place on 3rd and 4th December, 2019 at the Mulungushi International Conference Center in Lusaka Zambia. His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia is expected to open and address this Conference.
The Conference is expected to bring together government officials, members of the civil society, academia and research institutions, development partners, farmers, investors and others experts in the field of agriculture to discuss strategies of transformation of this important pillar of development in Zambia.
Hon. Michael Katambo, the Minister of Agriculture informed that the Conference will gather all stakeholders in the sector to discuss challenges affecting the agriculture sector and come up with tangible and practical action plans that will accelerate the transformation required in the sector, “the Government of Zambia attaches great importance to the Conference because of the urgent need to transform the agriculture sector which is the backbone of the Zambian economy.” Minister Katambo noted.
In a predominantly rural country (55% of Zambia’s population (9.7M) is rural based), agriculture growth is essential for the resilience of the rural people whose main living is from agriculture.
Dr. Belay Begashaw, the Director General of the SDGC/A says that the Center is set to back the Government of Zambia among other key players in achieving the sustainable development goals, leaving no one behind. “The focus of this conference will be to come up with action plans that will contribute significantly to profitability of agricultural enterprises, job creation, increased income generation, poverty reduction, and growth of the agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) He noted. “We believe that transforming the Agriculture sector would be a strategy to address hunger, malnutrition, poverty and climate change among other issues. We will work together to set a transformation agenda for agriculture in Zambia.” Dr. Begashaw added.
The 2-day conference discussions will revolve around a proposed agriculture transformation agenda that includes an optimal package for maize production, an effective extension system for agriculture transformation and Training for agriculture extension through TVETs. The transformation seeks to enhance the diversification of the Zambian economy, provide opportunities for job creation for the youth and other vulnerable groups, thereby ensuring financial and social inclusion, and opening opportunities for trade.
- 55% of Zambia’s population (9.7M) is rural based
- The total number of food insecure people is projected to rise from 1.7 to 2.3 million between 2019 and 2020 (FAO- 2019)
- Maize production occupies 70 percent of Zambia’s cropland
- The main staple food maize projected to decrease by 16 percent to 2 million tons
- 37 % of Zambia population is estimated to be experiencing food deficit (The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI)
- The Agriculture sector’s contribution to Zambia Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined from 17.3% in 2004 to 8.2% in 2017 ( The World Bank)
Pamela Mudakikwa, Communications Advisor, SDGC/A Head Office
Nicholas Mwale, National Agriculture Information System (NAIS), Zambia
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