The Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) and Zambia are set to strengthen collaboration for agricultural transformation.
To this effect visiting president of AGRA Dr Agnes Kalibita yesterday held talks with Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda and other high-ranking officials on how to strengthen collaboration between AGRA and Zambia to enhance growth of the country’s agricultural sector and improve the livelihoods of farmers and agribusinesses.
The group also reviewed high-level plans for the upcoming African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) planned for 29 September to 2 October 2015, which will gather more than 300 global and African leaders in Lusaka to develop concrete investment plans for driving Africa’s agricultural transformation.
“The AGRF Partners’ Group is pleased to have Zambia as the venue of this year’s AGRF. Zambia is a regional agribusiness hub, and the Zambian Government has prioritized agricultural growth over the past few years as witnessed by its heavy investments in developing the sector,
“This in turn is attracting other investments both local and foreign, both public and private, which can serve as a model for, and also benefit from, the experiences of other countries and businesses,” said Dr. Kalibata during the meeting.
“AGRA is an investor that provided start-up capital for Afri-Seeds, a Zambian seed company that has grown in scale and was recently appointed to supply groundnut seed for the Government of Zambia’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP).”
The African Green Revolution Forum, which seeks to bring together African heads of state, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society, scientists and other stakeholders to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.
Mr Lubinda confirmed the Zambian Government’s commitment to partnering with other African leaders and organizations in the transformation of the country’s and continent’s largest employer: agriculture. “Agriculture in Zambia and all over Africa employs more than 60% of all people, in one way or another.
‘‘This is Africa’s growth sector, and we must support it for the benefit of our youth, women and men; today and into the future, “This is one of the reasons why the Government has introduced the e-card system of payments for farm inputs as part of FISP; to ensure that more farmers, especially women, can access quality seed and fertilizer and improve their productivity.
“We are ready to partner with AGRA, the AGRF Partners’ Group and other industry actors to ensure the planned forum is a resounding success; and that Africa’s agricultural transformation gets the push it needs to see even more progress for our businesses and farmers,” he said.