Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya says she has been thinking about how to actualize Presidents Edgar Lungu’s vision, to turn Zambia into a green revolution since her appointment as Agriculture Minister.
Ms Siliya said she recently called for a consultative forum to identify practical ways to increase productivity and production.
She said stakeholders listed lack of financing, irrigation, energy, mechanisation, ownership and soil/fertiliser/crop specific research as the main hindrances.
“Let me say I have my job cut out for me,” Ms Siliya said.
She said in response, she travelled to Mongu last Saturday to launch the Cashewnuts infrastructure development project with an investment of 55.4 million dollars.
Ms Siliya says the project aims to work with 600 thousand households in 10 districts to plant 6 million improved varied cashewnut seedlings.
She said the project targets 300,000 women and 100 thousand youths out of all targeted Farmers.
“You may wish to note that currently cashewnut is at $6000/Ton while Copper is at $4000/Ton. It’s time to look at the glass as half full not half empty in relation to agriculture in Western Province,” Ms Siliya said.
“His Royal Highness the Litunga through the Kuta has committed to releasing Land for 100 trees per hectare per farmer. This Cashewnut crop is planned towards exports especially to the Middle East.”
She added, “I thank our Partner the ADB who are financing with GRZ and providing management support. My call is to our experts to ensure these resources trickle down to core activities and not ineligible workshops and trips.”