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Zambia Strengthens Collaboration with FAO to Boost Agricultural Productivity and Food Security

In a significant meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy, President Hakainde Hichilema expressed his delight in meeting with Dr. Qu Dongyu, the Director-General of FAO, yesterday.

Zambia and the FAO have enjoyed a long-standing relationship since 1965, marked by collaboration in key areas such as food and nutrition security, natural resource management, and climate change mitigation. The meeting served as an opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen these ties.

Acknowledging the crucial role of FAO in capacity building for sustainable forestry, President Hichilema emphasized the government’s commitment to increasing production and productivity. The primary goal is to enhance food security not only for Zambia but also for the wider region.

One of the pressing issues discussed during the meeting was the threat to Zambia’s food sufficiency due to shortages in neighboring countries. President Hichilema urged FAO to leverage Zambia’s central location and capitalize on its favorable hydrological and water conditions. The proposal is to implement two cycles of cereal crop production per year, thereby boosting per-acre yields and safeguarding against potential shortages.

In a bid to modernize Zambia’s agricultural practices, President Hichilema expressed the country’s desire to acquire cutting-edge technology in water harvesting, precision irrigation, mechanization, and husbandry efforts. He further urged FAO to support emerging farmers through the Agriculture Credit Window, aiming to enhance productivity for both local and regional markets.

The collaborative effort seeks to address not only immediate challenges but also to position Zambia as a hub for innovative and sustainable agricultural practices. By tapping into FAO’s expertise and resources, Zambia aims to fortify its agricultural sector, ensuring food security and economic stability for its citizens and the broader African region.

The meeting between President Hakainde Hichilema and Dr. Qu Dongyu signals a renewed commitment to addressing the evolving challenges in agriculture, demonstrating the importance of international cooperation in building a resilient and sustainable future for the continent.

Source: Lusaka Times