Friday, 12 October 2012

Agriculture to replace mining – Chenda

From JERRY MUNTHALI in Tokyo, Japan
MINISTER of Agriculture and Livestock Emmanuel Chenda says Government is stepping up efforts to have the agriculture sector replace mining as the main vehicle of economic growth.
Mr Chenda made the pronouncement when he addressed a breakfast meeting hosted by the Japanese-African Union Parliamentary Friendship League at the prestigious Hotel New Otani in Tokyo yesterday.
“Right now, we have been concentrating on maize production but we want to diversify into livestock farming and aquaculture. We are looking to attract investment into Zambia to help us to develop these two sectors,” Mr Chenda said.
He added: “Our country is blessed with a lot of land and we are only using 14 percent of the land on agriculture, which means that there is a lot of potential that is yet to be tapped. From the 75 million hectares of land we have, 58 percent of arable land is available for agriculture purposes.”
He also said Government appreciates the gesture by the Japanese government to set up a veterinary school at the University Of Zambia (UNZA).
“Since the setting up of the school, we have trained many doctors and this has not only resulted in the development of the livestock sector but also an increase in production,” Mr Chenda said.
And Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo said Government is on a diversification programme and has put tourism on top of its agenda, to develop the sector and create employment among the youths.
“We have high unemployment among the youths and our government is working hard to improve the tourism sector to create employment for the youth,”she said.
Ms Masebo said Government in the past concentrated on wildlife tourism but has now started exploiting culture and arts.
She also invited Japanese parliamentarians to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe next year.
And Mr Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is a member of the House of Representatives and delegation leader, said his country values the relations between Zambia and Japan.
Original Article Here

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