Scholars at Jesuit Entity in Zambia Urge “immediate and medium-term government-led initiatives” Towards Food Security

Logo of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). Credit: JCTR

Officials of the Zambia-based Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) are calling upon the government of the Southern African nation to put in place “immediate and medium-term initiatives” to ensure food security. 

At least six million people are facing hunger, malnutrition, and water scarcity in Zambia, according to a March 6 Oxfam International press release.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on April 25, JCTR officials urge the Zambian government to scale-up food relief amid ongoing drought occasioned by reduced rainfall in the 2023-2024 rainy season.

“The Centre is calling for both immediate government responses in terms of food relief and medium-term government-led initiatives and investments, such as setting up irrigation projects and promoting winter maize cultivation, among others,” JCTR officials say.

They call upon individuals, organisations and policymakers in Zambia “to embrace their roles in striving towards a future where every Zambian has access to nutritious food.”


“Let us draw inspiration from the power, unity and joint efforts to address food insecurity and create a community where no one will die of hunger,” officials of the Lusaka-based Centre that is engaged in research, advocacy, education and consultancy on social issues say.

They go on to offer a raft of measures to ensure food security in the country. 

“The Centre continues to encourage households to grow food items such as vegetables whenever possible to supplements daily meals,” officials of the Jesuit entity say, adding that “through engagement in community-driven initiatives like community gardens, cooperative farming, and knowledge-sharing platforms, we can lay the groundwork for a future with ample food security.” 

They also advocate for “agroecological diversification” in line with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommendations.

“As the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations emphasizes, agroecological diversification enhances socio-economic and ecological resilience,” they explain. 

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The scholars continue, “In an effort to diversify diets and farming practices, it is essential that farmers, especially smallholder farmers practice agroecology in order to maintain soil fertility and adapt to the climatic conditions.”

They also urge the Zambian government to “provide information and support to small scale farmers on how best they can access the irrigation equipment, with the newly announced tax waivers on all agriculture equipment.”

“It is prudent that smallholder farmers are well informed and supported to take advantage of this to help strengthen Zambia’s food security and cushion the consumer demand to address food scarcity,” they say. 

JCTR officials further say, “We re-echo the need for fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and community upliftment in the aspects of better farming technologies that are sustainable especially with the waiver on irrigation equipment.”

In the statement shared with ACI Africa, the scholars at the Jesuit entity also emphasize the need to sensitize Zambians “on alternative foods especially drought resistant crops for instance cassava, millet and sorghum.”


“This change will require a mindset shift through cultural reorientation for sustainability,” they say. 

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