In line with the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP), the Government of Zambia has raised and mobilized a USD 2.125 billion of the required USD 2.730 billion to be used over the next five years to help increase the level of productivity in the Zambia agriculture sector.
In a recent interview with the Times of Zambia, Wylbur Simuusa, the Zambia agriculture and Livestock Minister, indicated that financial resources for the NAIP would be provided in partnership with the government, cooperating partners and other stakeholders in the country’s agriculture sector.
Mr. Simuusa went on to explain that, while the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) had released funds to the NAIP, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock was currently working with the Ministry of Finance to find solutions to address the USD 605 million financial gap including the option to issue a USD 1 billion international bond as early as the end of 2014.
Because nearly 80% of the country’s population is dependent on livelihoods related to the agriculture industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock maintains that the sector could have a significant impact on the country’s poverty reduction agenda, but it would require that the sector’s development strategies and programs be redirected to become drivers of inclusive agricultural growth.
The NAIP, which was developed in line with the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) in an effort to influence the approach that is used in the future to set the Zambia agricultural development agenda, officially launched last year.