CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
THE Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is proposing the creation of 12,000 positions for fisheries and livestock officers countrywide to enhance extension services in
the fisheries and livestock sector, ministry director of human resources and administration Cecilia Kamanga has said.
Ms Kamanga said the ministry’s proposal follows concerns from various stakeholders on the lack of extension services which has hampered Government’s quest to accrue economic benefits of the fisheries and livestock sectors.
She said this in an interview yesterday during the 2018 tax and non-tax budget stakeholder’s consultative meeting with the ministries of agriculture, fisheries and livestock, and Finance.
“As you maybe aware, we are a new ministry and we have not had [fisheries and livestock] co-ordinators in the districts and provinces, and various stakeholders complained about the lack of extension officers.”
“We have since drawn up a draft structure which has proposed the creation of 12,000 positions for [fisheries and livestock] officers who will serve in various districts and provinces countrywide,” Ms Kamanga said.
She said if approved, the 12,000 human resource will help enhance service delivery in the fish and livestock sector.
Ms Kamanga said the 12,000 officers will play a crucial role in guiding fish and livestock farmers who knows how best to expand their production and contribute to food security.
“If we have enough extension officers, the issue of fish depletion will be a thing of the past because our fish farmers will be educated on the best fish farming methods,” she said.
Various stakeholders in the agriculture sector highlighted the successes, challenges inhibiting the growth of the sector, and made budget proposals to Ministry of Finance.
Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa said the ‘good’ proposals made by the stakeholders will be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance.
And Mr Shawa said Government will conduct a comprehensive review of loans and grants in the agriculture sector.
“Clearly, there are concerns on how loans are performing and how they are being utilised and we need to find the best way forward,” he said.
Mr Shawa said this in response to concerns that some loans and grants in the agriculture sector have been underperforming.