MINISTER of Finance Felix Mutati says structural reforms in the agriculture sector are key to the economic transformation of the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Caucus of African governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Gaborone, Mr Mutati said Government has taken a different approach in financing and supporting the sector.
He said the shift from the ordinary Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to the electronic voucher system is in line with Government’s commitment to safeguarding expenditure and channelling support to the right people.
“The e-voucher has eliminated a lot of costs. So far, a lot of farmers that were on the programme out of duplication have been eliminated. We are now going to get more beneficiaries,” he said.
This is according to a statement issued yesterday by first secretary for press at the Zambian mission in Botswana Kasabo Kalusa.
And Mr Mutati said it is time farming was acknowledged as a catalyst for economic transformation of African economies.
He observed that infrastructural and skills deficit is hampering the growth of agricultural activities on the continent.
“One of the most viable options Africa had at its disposal in expanding its revenue base through a quick industrialisation of the agricultural activities,” Mr Mutati said.
The 2017 Caucus of African governors meeting has drawn participation from all African ministers of finance and central bank governors.
Mr Mutati is accompanied by Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya, Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Mukuli Chikuba and other officials.