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Zambia-FAO Meeting for Agricultural Collaboration

President Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia met with Dr. Qu Dongyu, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. 

The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the longstanding collaboration between Zambia and the FAO in various areas, including food and nutrition security, natural resource management, and climate change mitigation. 

President Hichilema expressed his delight at the meeting, highlighting the cordial relations that have been maintained between Zambia and the FAO since 1965. 

He acknowledged the historical collaboration between the two entities, emphasizing the strengthening of ties over the years.

During the meeting, both parties recognized the FAO’s crucial role in capacity building for sustainable forestry in Zambia. This acknowledgment underscored the shared commitment to responsible natural resource management.

President Hichilema emphasized the Zambian government’s dedication to increasing agricultural production and productivity. The primary goal is to improve food security not only for Zambia but also for the broader region.

President Hichilema addressed the imminent threat to Zambia’s food sufficiency due to shortages in neighboring countries. 

He urged the FAO to capitalize on Zambia’s central location and favorable hydrological and water conditions. 

The proposal included implementing two cycles of cereal crop production per year, with the aim of not only countering shortages but also enhancing per-acre yields.

Expressing Zambia’s eagerness to embrace technological advancements in agriculture, President Hichilema conveyed the country’s desire to acquire cutting-edge technology in water harvesting, precision irrigation, mechanization, and husbandry efforts. These advancements are seen as crucial to the modernization of the agricultural sector.

A significant request made by President Hichilema was for the FAO to support Zambia’s emerging farmers through the Agriculture Credit Window. This financial assistance aims to empower local farmers, enabling them to adopt modern agricultural practices and enhance productivity for both local and regional markets.

The meeting between President Hakainde Hichilema and Dr. Qu Dongyu signifies a renewed commitment to addressing the challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture. 

The proposed strategies and collaborations outlined during the meeting are expected to have a profound impact on Zambia’s agricultural sector, contributing to enhanced productivity and regional food security. 

The FAO’s continued support is seen as instrumental in realizing Zambia’s goals for a resilient and sustainable agricultural future.

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