PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has urged traditional leaders in North Western Province to embrace both local and foreign investors interested in investing in agricultural production. He said the province should grow sufficient food to meet the growing demand in the area, including the neigbouring Angola and DRC.
Launching the 2018/2019 planting season in Mwinilunga yesterday, President Lungu said Zambia was fortunate to have three agro ecological regions with low, medium and high rainfall patterns. He said currently, the rainfall pattern had shifted towards the northern parts of the country. President Lungu said this had been shown by the recent high crop production figures in Northern, Muchinga and Luapula provinces.
He said the crop purchases by the Food Reserve Agency from the northern half of Zambia also attested to that development. President Lungu noted that North Western Province was within the high rainfall zone with average rainfall of 1,200 milimetres annually.
“This province is also endowed with vast fertile land suitable for the production of a wide range of crops,” he said. “Let me also take this opportunity to call upon our traditional leaders to embrace both local and foreign investors who may be interested in investing in agricultural production.”
President Lungu said doing so would steer the province to another level in agricultural production.
“I am confident that North Western Province is poised to be the new Copperbelt of Zambia with the massive new mining investments in Lumwana and Kalumbila,” he said.
“With such investments, more people will be attracted to this province in search of employment and other business activities, as is the case now. This entails that there will be increased demand for food in the region. Therefore, it goes without saying that the province must take up this challenge. I, therefore, call upon the people of North Western Province to grow sufficient food to meet the growing demand not only in the province, but also neigbouring Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
And on Mwinilunga, President Lungu said in the spirit of diversification, he implored the farmers to scale up production of pineapples and other crops widely grown in various parts of the Province.
“There is no doubt that there is already a yawning market for a wide range of food crops on the domestic and regional markets. We must leverage this opportunity,” said President Lungu.