AFRICAN Development Bank (AfDB)’s support towards Zambia’s agriculture sector currently stands at about US$150 million as part of the bank’s strategy to boost the country’s agriculture sector.
The AfDB is also expected to undertake an African agricultural transformation strategy aimed at prioritising a business-driven approach to transforming agriculture.
Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda said the bank’s continued support in various sectors of agriculture is key in the diversification agenda and the economic transformation of the country.
Mr Lubinda said this yesterday at the AfDB African Agricultural Transformation Strategy regional consultative meeting.
“We need innovative and responsible investments in resilience-building programmes through the national investment plans coupled with innovative resource mobilisation, financing and investment initiatives in the agriculture sector,” he said.
[blockquote author=””]He added: “The only sector that will take us forward is the agriculture sector because it is a sustainable sector.”[/blockquote]
He said Zambia has made critical steps in transforming agriculture citing enhancing agriculture commodities, enhancing financing in agriculture and involving youths in agriculture.
Earlier, AfDB vice president for sector operations Kapil Kapoor said the African agricultural transformation strategy will, among other issues, help reduce poverty and malnutrition; transform Africa into a net food exporter and enhance agriculture value chains.
Mr Kapoor said as the world faces various economic challenges, enhancing agricultural strategies will go a long way in mitigating economic shocks.
He also said there is need to treat agriculture as a business and not a social welfare system.
“Critically, there needs to be a re-orientation away from treating agriculture as way of life to a business and look to a frame transformation that is public sector-enabled and private sector- led,” he said.