LUNTE member of Parliament Felix Mutati says the agriculture sector has potential to resuscitate the economy during its difficult time if the diversification programme is well implemented.
“Government should address the issue of diversifying the economy from mining to agriculture in a systematic and pragmatic manner,” he said.
President Lungu recently launched an economic recovery plan that includes making agriculture the country’s economic mainstay.
Mr Mutati described 2015 as the most difficult year because of the economic challenges that have not only affected Zambia, but the world as a whole.
He said the weakening of the Kwacha against major currencies and the rise in inflation are some of the challenges facing the country
“We have seen prices of commodities going up because of the economic challenges the country has faced,’’ Mr Mutati said.
He commended President Lungu for announcing measures to arrest the economic challenges the country is facing.
He said the economic recovery plan as announced by President Lungu is good, but observed that good economic measures are usually frustrated at implementation level.
He said Government needs to ensure prudent implementation of its policies.
The former minister of Commerce and Industry said the mining sector will continue giving the country problems because of the unpredictability of metal prices on the international market.
He said the country needs to diversify its economic activities to offset the negative terms of trade in the mining industry.
Mr Mutati said Government should consider completing pending projects in the agriculture sector such as the Nansanga farm block in Serenje.
He said the tourism sector could also help boost Zambia’s economic activities if well-harnessed.
He further appealed to Government to adhere to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s austerity measures to regain investor confidence which is a critical factor in reviving the economy.