Inadequate funding to the agriculture sector not sustainable -FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization says it will be difficult for Zambia to meet sustainable agriculture production with inadequate funding to the agriculture sector.

FAO Country Representative Dr George Okech said Zambia’s funding to the sector is still way below the Maputo declaration which requires about 10 percent of the budget to be allocated to the agriculture sector.

Dr Okech noted with sadness that only a few countries on the continent have met the Maputo declaration on the budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector.

Speaking at the commemoration of this year’s world food day organized by Global Citizen, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance and Hivos Southern Africa, Dr Okech advised the Zambian government to put more money in the agriculture sector to guarantee food security.

And Dr Okech said FAO is working with government and other stakeholders to develop the Post Harvest Loss strategy that will help minimize the loss of agriculture produce.

He said the strategy if implemented will ensure that Zambia produces post harvest loss of grain including tomatoes, mangos and other produce which goes to waste every year.

Dr Okech regretted that a lot of food goes to waste every year in Zambia when some people are going hungry.

Speaking at the same event, Global Citizen Lead Zambia Campaigner Mwandwe Chileshe noted with concern that hunger has continued to be on the increase in Zambia.

Ms Chileshe said the high food insecurity risks reversing the gains made in reducing malnutrition cases in Zambia.

She said the World Food Day commemorated last week should be used to get government and other stakeholders on board to start taking action to address the hunger situation.

And the Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance says government needs to put in place policies that will support diverse food production.

CSO-SUN Country Coordinator Mathews Mhuru said there is need for reforms in food production policies to encourage production of food at lower levels.

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