Zambia National Farmer’s union (ZNFU) President, Mr. Jervis Zimba has said that people should not give up on agriculture but instead they should continue to engage in various agricultural activities.
He is therefore urging the people of Zambia especially the youths not to lose the guard on agriculture because it remains a sustainable way to economic recovery and poverty reduction.
Speaking during a recent ZNFU meeting, Mr. Zimba said that the majority of the poor people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. In this regard, agricultural development has the potential to impact on extreme poverty and hunger, which affects most rural population.
The government is focusing on the development of rural infrastructure where the majority of the poor lives.
Agriculture has been identified as one of the main economic drivers that has helped drive an increase in Zambia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The Zambian government has implemented plans to boost crop and livestock production to help further strengthen the agriculture sector and will invest in extension services, irrigation, and research and development in order to improve crop yield.
The government has also been working to increase local production of key inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and pesticides, along with restocking the livestock sector with a view to improve its performance.
Agriculture and agribusiness play an important role in the Zambian economy, contributing around 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years and about 12 percent of national export earnings. The government has also ensured that Agriculture employs nearly 70 percent of the labor force and remains the main source of income and employment for most of the people living in rural areas.
The government has therefore put in place policies that provide public support and investment in agriculture with a view to creating an enabling environment to attract private sector and smallholder interest in farm production, processing and trade.
The main thrusts of the National Agricultural Policy (NAP) are liberalization, commercialization, promotion of public and private partnerships, and provision of effective agricultural services that will ensure sustainable agricultural growth.