The Agriculture Minister Hon. Reuben Mtolo MP says the Zambia’s overall irrigation policy objective is to have well-regulated and profitable irrigation sector that is attractive to both private investors and Zambia’s development partners.
Delivering the statement at the 43rd Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference in Rome, Italy held from 1st to 7th July, 2023 whose theme was “state of food and agriculture: Integrated water resource management,” Hon. Mtolo said that the policy was aimed at removing constraints for existing irrigation, thereby encouraging new private investment that increases area of land under irrigation.
The Minister also revealed that in the last planting season Zambia lost close to 800,000 hectares of planted maize due to heavy rains that caused flush floods.
Hon. Mtolo further invited various stakeholders to invest in water harvesting methods that involve collecting and managing flood water and surface water runoff.
“The government is also promoting water conservation and efficient water practices that ensure sustainable water use “he said.
In conclusion, the Minister emphasized that the agriculture sector in Zambia remains a strategic area of focus in promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, creating employment and wealth for the Zambian people.