NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
THE Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) has advised Government to exercise fiscal prudence by utilising part of the impending International Monetary Fund loan on construction of rural roads to boost economic development.
EAZ president Chrispin Mphuka said in comparison to urban roads, feeder roads are cheaper to construct and have more economic value to the economy through their linkages to agriculture.
In an interview last week, Dr Mphuka said feeder roads make it easier for farmers to transport produce to markets, and that access to the roads will encourage farmers to grow more food.
He said farmers are also able to receive inputs such as fertiliser and agro-chemicals, receive more extension visits and also obtain farm tools.
“However, major road projects tend to slow down the economy as they gobble up resources which can be channelled to other sectors which contribute to the growth of the economy,” he said.
Dr Mphuka suggested that Government should instead look to other ways of meeting the financing needs of the road sector such as through tolling of various roads.