ZAMBIA has unveiled a US$ 7 million project aimed at addressing crop
pests and animal diseases to boost the agriculture sector.
The European Union has given the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) nine million euros to operationalise the regional agriculture
policy (RAP), a project tha was launch on Botswana in March this year.
From this project, which runs for three years, Zambia will benefit US$
7 million to address pests such as fall armyworms that have continued
to pose a threat to crop production.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture Songowayo Zyambo
said “the continuous attacks on crops and animals by pests such as
fall armyworms’ pose a threat to crop production hence the need for
concerted efforts from the public and private sector in addressing
“In 2016/2017 farming season, a total of 191,930 hectares were affected
by the armyworms, while in the 2018/2019 farming season 215,735
hectares were affected,” Mr. Zyambo said during the launch of the
project on Thursday.
He called for the strengthening of early warning systems for detection and
prevention of the spread of crop pest and animal diseases.
“Development of early warning systems particularly weather system, pest
and diseases will greatly assist farmers to respond to the risks they
face during crop production,” Mr. Zyambo said.
He said Government is working with stakeholders to double the livestock
and crop production to meet the local and regional market such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mr. Zyambo said the Ministry has engaged farmers, grain traders and
millers to double the production of maize starting 2019/2020 farming
the season for export.
He said Zambia has the potential to expand its export market size as
evidenced by the export of 20,000 metric tonnes of maize seed per annum
worth USD $26million.
He said in the 2019/2020 farming season, maize seed under the Farmers
Input Support Program (FISP) will be treated with armyworm chemicals
to ensure that the pest does not attack the crop in the first four weeks
Mr. Zyambo also thanked the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for
the continued support in the agriculture sector and pledged to ensure
that the project is successive.
Earlier, FAO country representative George Okech said the project will
help address issues relating to transboundary crops, animal pests and
diseases as well as agriculture information, which is key to
agricultural production and productivity.