Lusaka, February 12, ZANIS————–Vice President Inonge Wina has disclosed that government allocated a total of over K3 billion to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in 2014.
Ms Wina said this represented a significant increase of 73 percent compared to K1.749 billion allocated in 2013.
The Vice President said this in a speech read on her behalf by newly appointed Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Given Lubinda when he officially opened the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Sixth Joint Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture Environment and Natural resources at Hotel Intercontinental in Lusaka today.
Ms Wina said Zambia has been implementing a budget in the agriculture sector that is based on the agreed priorities in the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAAP).
And speaking at the same occasion, COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said it is estimated that agriculture contributes between 25-30 percent to the region’s Gross Domestic Product within member states.
Mr Ngwenya said that for the past three decades, food production in the COMESA region has grown at 1.4 percent per year on average, while population growth has averaged three percent.
He said this has created a weak food security situation in the region, a thing he said should be dealt with with concerted effort.