Minister of Agriculture, Dora Siliya with Zambia's Ambassador to German
Minister of Agriculture, Dora Siliya with Zambia’s Ambassador to German

Zambians will not go hungry despite a disappointing rain season the country has experienced so far, the Minister of Agriculture has assured. Ms. Dora Siliya said some parts of the country have been particularly affected with crops that were earlier planted going to waste due to poor rainfall.

The Minister was speaking in an interview Monday in Berlin, Germany, on the sidelines of the German/Africa Business Association meeting called for African countries to share their investment prospects in the agricultural sector with the German business community.

“In Ecological zone one and that is Southern Province, parts of Western Province and parts of Eastern Province we have seen that there has actually been a drought. We have experienced no rains in those areas” leading to the failure of crops like maize said Ms. Siliya.

The Minister noted that as expected the country has seen more rains in ecological zone three consisting of parts of northern regions of Zambia, the Copperbelt, Central province and parts northwestern province.

“However, it is in these areas where the soil is quite acid and you don’t really expect a lot of return on the hectares in terms of harvest”, the Minister regretted. Ms. Siliya said going forward government is expected to increase its investment in harvesting rain-water and the construction of dams thereby reducing dependence on rain-fed agriculture.

“Especially in ecological zone one which is Southern Province, we need to invest in bulk water sites. We have to dam the country”, the Minister said with emphasis encouraged by what neighboring Zimbabwe has done. Ms. Siliya said small dams will have to be made throughout the country so that farming may continue aided by irrigation whether there has been rainfall or rainfall.

The Minister noted sadly that in some parts of the country farmers may have to replant just so that they may get something out of this year’s rain season. She said there has been some indication that rains might begin to fall in some parts of the country.

“We pray for divine intervention that the army worm attack is controlled and that it is not as devastating as it was last year so that we may salvage something from our crops”, the Minister said prayerfully.

Ms. Siliya said her Ministry is monitoring the situation to ensure food security, food that is accessible and food that is affordable. She also said her Ministry is monitoring the region for the impact of the partial drought as there are reports of countries equally affected. Last year the southern African region suffered food shortages, which Zambia filled up with exports of her bumper harvest.

“We have asked all the districts to continue giving us reports so that in the next few weeks, we assess the impact of the partial drought and that of the army worms”, said the Minister assuring Zambians that government is on top of things.

Ms. Siliya said last year the Zambian government made some tough decisions that affected the private sector so that the food security of its citizens was assured. Similarly, the Minister said an elected government as that of President Edgar Lungu will not hesitate to make tough decisions if need be to make sure Zambians are food secure.

Experts have warned that climate change will continue to affect food security and energy supply unless countries adopt measures to mitigate their impact. On its part, the Zambian government has stepped up engagement with various global partners since the climate change conference in Bonn, Germany last year in mobilizing resources intended for investment in climate-smart technologies.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Dora goes to Berlin to tell an audience information mostly relevant for the Zambians to hear. I just don’t get the rationale of all this.

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    • Some of this information that the minister thinks is necessary for a Berlin audience is more relevant to the other Zambian neighbors who can be on standby to sell us maize and other crop if we get needy. This so-called indaba has bee a sham. Dora get back home and sort out THE PF AGRICULTURAL vision which we all know you do not even share. Since you come in the PF through the ‘back door’ never have you addressed PF or Zambian members of the public. why, is the burning question.

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    • The only way Zambians in rural areas and vendors on the streets won’t starve is to give them free food coupons.

      The fact that Zambia may have maize reserves which it will sell does not put food on the mat of a farmer who has not harvested anything for sale due to drought to be able to buy government food.

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    • I was thinking the same. Who cares about ecological zone X and Z, surely? All this is all about bad planning. This is only January, there’s enough time to catch up. Doesn’t Zambia know about climate change? The rainy season has shifted to later months. Give farmers more seeds which are drought resistant in areas the country has experienced drought. There is chance of recouping. You only panic end of February. For now look for seeds and let farmers replant.

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    • Burberry scarf that costs between £200-£300 (approx. K3600) pounds before we can even talk about the necklace, blouse, skirt, shoes and knickers. This woman is costing our taxpayer too much. Dorika go away!

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    • What about the hair, lipstick, make up, handbag, its contents and all that. We have our poor Zambians that are cholera stricken and no drugs in hospitals, Lady you are sickening!

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    • Dear countrymen and women, the situation is under control. The able leadership of his excellency Chendelamumwela will ensure that we have adequate rains. The reports of there being no rains are just hallucinations by disgruntled opposition members.

      We are therefore calling on minister of guidance and spiritual affairs to call on all patriotic behind cadres to lay down their machetes and to engage in intensified fasting and prayers. The patriotic behind is aware of efforts by the opposition to frustrate these noble efforts in order to claim cheap political mileage in this crises.

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  2. China is planting trees, the size of Africa, in their Country. But here you allow them to deforestate our Countries. Shame.

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  3. Dora please be real and honest to yourself. Even with good rains, have you seen how the majority of the rural populace suffer to hunger. With this drought, expect serious malnutrition in most parts of rural Zambia. And your lot do not even have the heart and means to address the affected. The people of Zambia do not deserve this mediocrity. I listened to your blah blah and it is sickening.

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  4. What will kill some people isn’t the scarcity of the mealie meal but its cost. Already some places are experiencing higher prices. Many peasants don’t sell the whole harvest but reserve only enough to see them up to the next harvest, these are the most vulnerable because their buying power can’t compete with the Congolese. While the Congolese, whom we share our food with, can afford to pay up to K250 per 25kg bag of unga, many Zambians that include the middle class can’t afford. Even at K150 per 25kg bag would be beyond the reach of many. The little maize you have at FRA won’t stand the market forces, besides there’s also livestock that needs feed

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  5. Sad so few comments on such an important subject and yet on a low life like Kambwili almost certainly over 100 comments. Zambians are not interested in development just nonsense from politicians!

    Food is key and we all need to take this subject seriously, even the change that saw KK leave power was directly as a result of high prices of mealie meal due to it being scarce. Abena Zambia let’s be serious with life!

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  6. Stupid woman Dora… tell the people the truth so that they know what is coming.
    Shortage of maze will push the price of mile meal high and not affordable. She and all Pf won’t be suffering. But one day U pf will all pay for your useless government.

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  7. Even when there has been abundant rain, people have starved in some parts of the country. It is irresponsible for a minister to make such a statement and then a few months along the line, we will have people in some areas of the country calling on the government to distribute relief food.

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  8. Really laughable…only in Zambia do you have “partial drought”…only when she is ordering relief yellow USA corn maize will it sink in. She will again make a killing as she did last year when she was importing electricity.

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  9. There is nothing like a partial drought

    I have never heard of this phrase being used before.

    If you have cervical cancer, one does not say that you are partially sick

    One does not do a partial maize-gate

    One does not do a partial e voucher or partial pay farmers for their maize

    The only thing one can really do is speak partial truth so as not to alarm the public and expose your total incompetence

    Dora stop running around on international allowances, come home and comfort your peasant farmers, district by district. Instead of licking up to foreigners, come see with your own eyes. Things are bad

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  10. Central Eastern and Southern account for 60% of maize production

    January is historically the wettest month. On average we get 210mm of rain. So far this year, January rainfall is 2mm. A 99% shortfall.

    Winds from the South are pushing the ITCZ back up and causing massive rainfall over the extreme north (kaputa area) and ikelenge area

    Rest of the country is dry

    Yes, Kabwe up, rains started up well but from 26 December most parts of the country are bone dry.

    Those who have export deals will allay you, but pick up the phone and call chisamba, kabwe, mumbwa, chongwe, serenje, mkushi. Dont even try and call anyone in southern province, that is a dust bowl

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  11. She is only in Germany with her begging bowl and of course she gets a cut, a area hardest hit is southern province and most villages are near the Zambezi or Kariba so pump the water to the villages or get those million dollar fire trucks and water the maize, simple. Zambian’s use your head and stop being lazy.

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  12. AS SOON AS THEY SAY WE WONT STARVE YOU MUST KNOW THAT WE WILL ! THEY START MAKING EXCUSES BEFORE HAND SO THAT THEY CANNOT BE BLAMED FOR EXPORTING ALL OUR EXCESS MAIZE LAST YEAR !

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