Agriculture is the Answer
Agriculture is being too readily dismissed by some politicians in their campaigns. When it comes to the UPND’s plan to fix the economy we proudly place agriculture front and centre. We passionately believe the sector is one of the greatest areas of opportunity for us as a nation and that it provides many answers as to how we can move Zambia forward.
For those who mock us farmers they should consider the full benefits first. It not only puts food on the table and creates jobs, but if we manage the sector well then we can strengthen our whole economy by driving activity in agriculture.
We have a market of 600 million people on our doorstep across the COMESA, EAC and SADC region. Today we have been in Luapula where the opportunity for developing our fish industry is clear, both in terms of quantities and value-add through canning cottage industries. So why are we importing tilapia from China when we should be the ones exporting across the region?
By increasing yields and linking farmers to market, the UPND Government will support the sector to expand and diversify, with the resulting exports boosting our balance of payments and strengthening the kwacha, as more people demand our currency to buy Zambian goods.
This is to say nothing of food security, which still remains a challenge despite our natural wealth. We still have over 45% of children under-5 stunted. If we can grow and farm the food they need to grow up healthy and strong at home then we can provide it at a lower cost.
For all these reasons I am proud of my experience cattle rearing. Building up stock and protecting them from disease takes time and hard work, but providing locally reared meat for consumption is a satisfying and rewarding venture. This is why the UPND is committed to providing cattle loans for our youth as one of many interventions in agriculture, which will also include lowering the price of fertiliser and seed.
The UPND is committed to investing in agriculture so we can grow our nation in a healthy and productive way that benefits the majority directly. Join us on this mission by voting UPND on 11th August 2016.