Zambia must boost agro-sector, Mundia Paul Hakoola prods Hakainde Hichilema
By Derrick Sinjela
Continental Leadership Research Institute (CLRI) Executive Director Mundia Paul Hakoola is urging the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government to place priority on agriculture.
As Zambia is positioning herself as an agricultural hub and food basket in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for East and Central Africa (COMESA), Hakoola wants President Hakainde Hichilema to prioritise the agricultural sector.
Advised Hakoola: “As the new Government settles, it is imperative for President Hichilema to focus on agriculture. We must utilise our strategic water resources to produce crops to supply around the region. A number of Zambia business persons and farmers have capacity but continue being inhibited by lack of capital as a serious challenge”.
In addition, Hakoola implored the UPND Alliance leadership to seek strategic partnership with investors interested in boosting the Zambian economy.
Hakoola believes that the agro sector is sustainable in comparison to copper and a variety of mineral ore.
“Zambia is guaranteed unprecedented profit from if farming is efficiently utilused. We are aware that even when we secure domestic food security excess agricultural produce can be exported to earn foreign exchange. This income will inturn wean farmers from government breast through the Farmer Input Supply Programme (FISP).
Wondering if the new leadership will maintain FISP, Hakoola says the agricultural sector potential must receive adequate attention.
A predominantly copper mining economy, Zambia is now embracing partnerships from Russia, Portugal and China in a stride to diversify its productive sectors.
Zambia with its fertile lands, produce corn, sorghum, millet, peanuts, cotton, tea and coffee.
During the 2020/2021 agriculture season, Zambia produced 3.3 million metric tonnes of corn.