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Simuusa calls for teamwork to grow agro sector

MINISTER of Agriculture and Livestock Wylbur Simuusa says the agriculture sector requires a lot of ingenuity and teamwork for it to become more viable and to significantly contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Simuusa said Government will not take a casual approach towards the development of the agriculture sector but will encourage concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
The minister said this in an interview on Friday shortly after President Sata opened the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly in Lusaka.
In his address to Parliament, President Sata said the agriculture sector remains a key driver of economic growth and poverty reduction.
President Sata said Government’s strategic focus in the sector is to achieve food security, promote crop diversification and increase productivity and value addition.
“His Excellency’s mention of agriculture sector yes puts a lot of pressure on the ministry.  So it requires a lot of ingenuity and teamwork and calling of stakeholders together, follow ups and follow through,” he said.
Mr Simuusa said Government wants to ensure that the development of the agriculture sector is not based on rhetoric.
He said President Sata’s recognition of the sector as one of the drivers of economic development entails that agriculture development should not be taken with a casual approach but with concerted effort.
“It requires lobbying and bringing all the stakeholders together because it is not a one man show. It requires ingenuity and thinking outside the box,” Mr Simuusa said.
He said his ministry is poised to achieve meaningful progress and transformation of the sector.
Mr Simuusa said the agriculture sector calls for a lot of follow ups and monitoring which brings pressure and stress but that the ministry has a good team to ably handle challenges that may arise.
He said the agriculture sector has potential to contribute significantly to the GDP far and beyond what the mining sector is doing.