THE 2015 national Budget should expedite rural development and prioritize poverty reduction by addressing root causes in income ine qualities between rural and urban areas, says Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) Eastern Province co- ordinator Maxson Nkhoma.
Mr Nkhoma observed that rural poverty in Zambia had reached alarming levels at 77.9 percent compared to urban are- as where poverty stands at 27.5 percent.
He said CSPR wanted govern- ment to address these inequali- ties by prioritizing investment in rural development through sec- tors such as agriculture mecha-
nization of small holder farmers, good agriculture marketing pol- icies and maintenance of feeder roads.
Mr Nkhoma said the CSPR was hoping that government would allocate 10 percent of the nation- al Budget to the agriculture sec- tor in line with the Maputo dec- laration while other key sectors such as health, education, infra- structure development and social protection should equally get a reasonable share of the national Budget. He said CSPR fully sup- ported government infrastruc- ture development programmes that were currently taking place in various sectors which included construction and maintenance of roads, construction of more secondary and primary schools and construction of institutions of high learning as well as con- struction of government offices in newly created districts around the country.
“We therefore call for contin- ued funding of these projects which are currently on-going in the 2015 national Budget for successful completion while we commend the government for implementing the early child- hood education policy in the ed- ucation sector. Government must allocate adequate resources for construction of early childhood learning centres and recruitment of more teachers for early child- hood education policy to be effec- tively implemented,” he said.
Mr Nkhoma also said that his organisation was looking forward that the 2015 national Budget allocating adequate resources for completion of the constitu- tion-making process through a referendum before December 2015.
He advised government to speed up the process of enacting the National Planning and Budg- eting Bill to guide the implemen- tation of national development plans and the Vision 2030.