The European Union (EU) has given €87 million to help Zambia advance its agriculture development agenda, said country advisor for agriculture and rural development, Marion Michaud.
Michaud said the financing package is designed to mitigate challenges farmers faced in increasing productivity. Challenges include a lack of access to quality inputs, advisory services and markets.
“These prevent farmers from having higher production, despite the potential that exists to have higher levels of productivity,” she said.
Michaud said several existing policies, like the National Agriculture Investment Programme and Second National Policy, are sufficient. However, it requires effective implementation.
“These policies are good but the country is big with a small population, making it difficult for effective implementation,” she said.
President Edgar Lungu’s development agenda is anchored on diversified growth with agriculture at the centre. As such, the Zambian national budget for 2018 is geared to address specific constraints to agriculture growth – notably, production deficiencies among smallholder farmers. Crop and livestock production remain, low despite a number of state interventions.