Vice President Rupiah Banda says Zambia has managed to maintain food security because of the good agricultural polices that the New Deal Government has put in place.
Mr Banda said since taking over power in 2001, the new deal government has implementated agriculture policies that have seen the country achieving food security and producing more crops for exports.
He said Government has been supporting small scale farmers through the Fertliser Support Programmes (FSP) which has not only benefitted farmers but also the country as a whole.
The Vice President however stated that the food insufficiency being faced in some parts of the country was due to floods that hit the nation in the last farming season.
He said his office has through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU)spent over K110 billion on the provision of relief food to about 47 districts in the country that were severely affected by the floods.
He said his office has since asked for supplementary funds to continue assisting people that are in dare need of food .
The Vice President was speaking to Zambian Journalists in Armsterdam , Nertherlands enroute to Italy,Rome where he is going to attend the 34th Confrence of the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
Mr. Banda however said the country would achieve the Millenuim Development Goals (MDG) of halving extreme poverty by the year 2015.
He said government views the agriculture sector as an important sector in poverty reduction hence the allocation of more funds to the ministry of Agriculture.
“The Agricultural sector is vital to economic development , we agreed during the last cabinet meeting to allocate about K54 billion to the ministry so that it can continue to support our farmers,” Said the Vice president.
The Recent World Development Report has warned that the MDGs would not be attained unless the agriculture sector becomes the center stage for economic development and more investment flow.
The Vice president however stated that Africa has in the past not been spending more resources on the sector as compared to the Asian countries hence the reason for the continent not producing more food.
And Vice President Rupiah Banda has arrived in Italy, Rome for the 34th FAO conference scheduled to start today to November 24, 2007.
The Vice President who is accompained by his wife Thandiwe , Foreigh Affairs deputy minister Fashion Phiri and Economical Advisor to the President Dr. Situmebeko Musokotwane was recieved by Zambia’s ambassandor to Italy Lucy Mugoma .
Mr. Banda said the conference is significant to all member countries as it affords members an opportunity to share expriences and challanges they face in addressing issues of food and agriculture.
The Vice president will on Tuesday present a paper on behalf of President Levy Mwanawasa on the Financing of Agriculture during a special high level session.
The Conference which is held every after two years is expected to discuss the state of food and agriculture , aid for trade , food and forestry and the role of aquaculture in sustainable development.
During the 33rd Conference in 2005, member countries committed themeselves to promote activities aimed at halving poverty by the year 2015.
They also committed themselves to promote adequate investment in agriculture , fisheries , forestry and other renewable natural resources.