The fisheries and livestock sectors have potential to contribute to food and nutrition security, job creation and poverty reduction Government have said.
Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, Kampamba Mulenga said the aquaculture development has continued to record positive growth in terms of production from 12,988 metric tons in 2012 to 32 metric tons in 2017.
The Minister said this during the official opening of the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) first national fisheries and livestock symposium in Lusaka yesterday.
Ms Kampamba stated that the country can still do better and reduce the country’s fish deficit which currently stands at 87,000 metric tons per annum.
She encouraged stakeholders to engage in sharing the opportunities and challenges in the fisheries and livestock sector and also find common solutions to them.
Speaking at the same event, IAPRI Executive Director, Chance Kabaghe called on government to allocate more resources from the national budget towards the growth of the fisheries and livestock sector.
Mr Kabaghe said there is need for the country to invest more in the sectors in order to achieve increased production.
He explained that a lot of investment has been targeted towards maize production which is no longer a problem to achieve good yields.
Mr Kabaghe said regardless of the weather situations, the country always records sufficient grain reserves and maintains food security.
He further said the over emphasis on maize has been detrimental to the growth of other sectors such as the fisheries and livestock which has resulted in low production.
Mr Kabaghe noted that there is need to heighten the importance of the sectors stating that they are critical to the growth of the country’s economy.
He called on other stakeholders to take advantage of the good environment and venture into fish and livestock farming.