PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has urged the Golden Valley Agriculture Research Trust (GART) to help in finding solutions to ensure that the country strives to be a food basket in the region.
And President Lungu has called for concerted efforts among the farming community to ensure food security amid changing weather patterns being experienced in the country.
Mr Lungu said this yesterday when he toured various stands at the 2015 Agritech Exposition being held at the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART) in Chisamba District.
He dispelled suggestions that the country was experiencing a drought and explained that the country was only suffering from unpredictable rains.
Mr Lungu observed that the prevailing poor rainfall pattern could be managed with combined efforts of research and support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Zambia National farmers’ union (ZNFU) and other stakeholders to achieve sustained agricultural productivity.
He said there was need to look for new ways of managing challenges being posed to the country’s agriculture by bad weather patterns through investment and research. During the tour, President Lungu, who arrived in the presidential chopper accompanied by Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda and other Government officials, rode on a tractor to the delight of the people attending the exposition.
And Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Evelyn Nguleka said her organization was thrilled that the Head of State had come to acquaint himself with the happenings in the agricultural sector. Dr Nguleka said the ZNFU appreciated Government’s efforts in revamping the agricultural sector. And speaking after a marathon tour which lasted about two and a half hours, President Lungu said he was impressed with what he had seen at the Agritech exposition.
Mr Lungu urged the farming community to embrace modern methods of agricultural production in order to enhance productivity in the country.
President Lungu also said that Government would consider realigning the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in order to boost the livestock sector.