Food security a must – Dora Siliya

 

By Nation Reporter

NEWLY appointed Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya has promised to uphold the promises which the Patriotic Front made during election campaigns of ensuring that Zambia is food secure and a major regional agriculture exporter.

Speaking shortly after being sworn-in at State House yesterday, Ms Siliya said Zambia should be able to be a major exporter of agriculture produce in the region.

“I am extremely humbled by the confidence that the President has placed upon me to be running a ministry which in our campaigns and manifesto we said would be the main stay of our economy.

“We know that most of our people especially in rural areas almost 80 percent of the populations earn their income from agriculture,” she said.

Ms Siliya said she would immediately begin her job because the farming season was fast approaching.

She said Government would soon be delivering a budget to Parliament so that the ministry of agriculture could begin to work because the elections were over and the President was very clear about that.

“The President has been very clear, we promised the people of Zambia during the elections and we must uphold our promises and one of them is agriculture and we must have food security and the agriculture sector must grow to be able to earn living incomes for many especially that Zambia is endowed with water,” she said.

And Mrs Siliya said Zambia must be a major food exporter in the region.

She said her ministry must be able to grow all the agricultural seeds especially in agriculture institutions by investing in development and research.

And General Education Minister Dr. Dennis Musuku Wachinga said he would have to sit down with his colleagues at the ministry to map out the way forward.

He, however, said that Zambia should expect a lot of increased emphasis in science and technology education because he believed firmly that Zambia did not anchor its education system on science and mathematics.

“So those are some of the things you will be able to see, the emphasis on science and technology. Secondly, I will be able to ensure that our service delivery within the education system especially in rural areas is improved and made attractive,” he said.

Dr Wachinga said service delivery was not just about desks and chalkboards but also needed computers, good books, laboratories that were educative to the young.

He also promised to deal with problems of accommodation for teachers especially in rural areas.

Dr. Wachinga said he would make sure that the lives of teachers in rural areas were improved and that educational infrastructure was attractive for young people who may wish to start their careers in the teaching profession.

And Lawrence Sichalwe described his appointment as a big surprise from the Head of State.

Mr Sichalwe said it was time to work now by looking at the welfare of traditional leaders and the policies that related to the chieftaincies.

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