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President Hichilema Explores Agricultural Collaboration with IFAD and Sustainable Farming Practices in Italy

President Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia expressed his satisfaction after meeting with Dr. Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in Rome today. The discussions centered around various agricultural matters in Zambia, with a particular focus on collaboration to strengthen food security in the country.

IFAD, with a longstanding presence in Zambia since 1981, has played a pivotal role in supporting projects benefiting approximately 5 million people in rural communities. President Hichilema acknowledged IFAD’s significant assistance to vulnerable smallholders in remote areas and engaged in talks about the organization’s country program, particularly its role in connecting small-scale farmers with rural financial services.

Expressing appreciation for IFAD’s commitment to agricultural development, President Hichilema emphasized the importance of collaboration to enhance food security in Zambia. The President highlighted the potential of Zambia, with its strategic land-linked position and proximity to key transportation corridors, to supply farm products not only to the region but also beyond.

Following the meeting, President Hichilema and his delegation visited the Maccarese Farm in North Rome, Italy. The farm, an intensive mechanized mixed operation encompassing livestock and crops, left a lasting impression on the Zambian delegation. Notably, the facility utilizes biogas to generate 1.5 megawatts of power from cow dung.

The dairy section of Maccarese Farm efficiently milks 300 cows within 10 minutes and provides feed for beef production. Encouraged by the success of the farm’s sustainable practices, President Hichilema expressed a keen interest in replicating this model in Zambia through a partnership with local farmers. The President commended the farm’s innovative approach to generating electricity through animal manure, emphasizing its potential for value addition in the agricultural sector.

President Hichilema underscored his belief that farming is a viable investment for both the present and the future. The visit to Maccarese Farm served as an inspiration for exploring and implementing sustainable farming practices in Zambia, aligning with the government’s vision for a resilient and prosperous agricultural sector.

Source: Lusaka Times