UPND President Hakainde Hichilema completed his campaign tour of Western Province on Wednesday with the promise of developing the Province once elected Republican President.
Mr Hichilema said people in the Province were struggling when there are plenty of opportunities that exist in terms of agriculture which can thrive in the area.
Mr Hichilema said under his leadership his Party will ensure that it implements the 10 Point Plan and ensure that every child has the opportunity to go to school and create opportunities for adults to earn decent salaries through productive means.
“we have a vision for this country. Our vision is of a united, prosperous and equitable Zambia. Under my leadership delivery of the UPND 10 Point Plan will ensure that every child has the opportunity to go to school regardless of their gender or the wealth of their parents, and every adult will have the opportunity to earn a good salary through productive means.
“During our time in Western Province we have focused many of our discussions on the challenges and missed opportunities that exist in the agriculture sector today, which have seen farmers struggling when they should in fact be thriving. For example, the opportunity to grow rice in the plains throughout the year is clear. This is a vision we have. If we plan for this and invest then Zambia could produce as much rice as we produce maize. With a market ready in COMESA the industry can create jobs, help lower food prices and earn us valuable foreign exchange that will strengthen the kwacha after a turbulent period,” he said.
He also bemoaned the high prices of farming inputs and promised to reduce the prices of the commodity as soon as his elected.
He added that people should not be fooled by the ruling PF that they care about the Agriculture sector as they have reduced the budgetary allocation to the sector by 3.2%.
“We share in the frustration of our people in Western Province, and indeed across the country, that the price of fertiliser has doubled under PF from K150 to K300. This price must be brought down as a matter of urgent priority for the incoming government in August. Do not let PF fool you that they care about agriculture. Under their government the share of the national budget spent on the sector has fallen to a low of 3.2%,” he explained.
He also said his party is consulting the traditional leadership as partners of development.
“We have also continued our consultation with the traditional leadership. As a central partner in delivering development to our people, we remain grateful for their wise counsel to inform our planning,” he said.
Mr Hichilema’s tour included Mongu, Mangango, Kaoma, Sesheke, Shangombo, Senanga, Nalolo, Nalikwanda, Sikongo and Kalabo and Liuwa and was accompanied by ADD President Charles Milupi.