The Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu MP, has encouraged Zambians to embrace tree planting as a daily activity, ingrained in their lifestyle rather than considering it a one-time event.
Speaking during the Zambia National Service day tree planting ceremony at Airport farms, Hon. Nzovu emphasized the importance of the National Tree Planting Programme, a government initiative aimed at fostering tree planting activities throughout the season from December 15th to January 31st.
This year’s tree planting season, operating under the theme “Plant a Tree to Enhance Food Security and Business Opportunities under a Changing Climate,” seeks to promote not only environmental sustainability but also to create economic opportunities for communities.
Hon. Nzovu called on Zambians to plant a million fruit trees, including mangoes, oranges, guavas, masuku, or any fruit-bearing tree, to improve nutritional and household income while enhancing food security.
Additionally, he challenged citizens to plant another million trees for both food security and business potential, such as avocados, and an extra million trees for business opportunities like pine and eucalyptus.
The minister emphasized that this approach aligns with the theme, focusing on addressing climate change and land degradation while simultaneously improving local livelihoods through nutritional and business opportunities.
“By planting fruit trees, we achieve three benefits from one activity: improve household food security; enhance household income; and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation. Millions of fruit trees can be planted in your backyards, around your homesteads, on the hedges of your crop fields,” said Hon. Nzovu.
He suggested that utilizing household wastewater for watering these trees could aid in their quick establishment after planting. The choice of avocado trees for the initiative signifies a commitment to addressing climate change challenges while unlocking economic growth and food security prospects.
In support of the initiative, Minister of Defense Hon. Ambrose Lufuma MP, represented by Minister of Agriculture Hon. Mutolo Phiri MP, highlighted the significance of trees, particularly the hass avocado, as guardians of the soil, champions of biodiversity, and catalysts for economic empowerment.
Trees like the hass avocado offer benefits that include enhancing food security, promoting healthy living, fostering a green economy, and unlocking diverse business opportunities, contributing to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
Zambia National Service Commander, Lieutenant General Maliti Solochi, emphasized that each tree planted symbolizes the nation’s determination to create a Zambia with fortified food security, abundant business opportunities, and a commitment to environmental sustainability at the core of development.