KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA needs to increase investment in research and development to enable the country to adopt modern farming techniques that are suitable to climatic challenges.
The Indaba Agricultural Policy and Research Institute (IAPRI) says the country needs to ensure policy stability to attract private sector investments, as Government funds alone are not enough to meet the rising demand.
This is contained in the IAPRI’s presentation at the South African Institute of International Affairs Food Security Roundtable meeting on ‘The future of Agri-food system in Africa: What is policy and science telling us?’
IAPRI says there is need to improve research and the creation of a conducive and stable policy environment that allows greater participation of the private sector if agriculture is to thrive.
“Increased and sustained investment in research and development to enable the country to adopt modern country specific farming techniques that are suitable to Zambia’s farming culture and climate,” IAPRI notes.
The institute also underscores the need to promote the commercialisation of the agriculture sector through the removal of the constraints that farmers face especially, in accessing both short and long-term finance, productivity enhancement technology, extension messages and markets.
IAPRI notes that the promotion of value addition to generate stronger forward and backward linkages between sectors of the economy is also key in increasing income generation.
The institute has also suggested the need to establish stronger institutions that support the agricultural transformation agenda and guide public and private investment in infrastructure, especially roads and energy.