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Caritas Zambia Lauds President for Committing to Food Security at UN Conference

Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema addressing the UN Food Summit. Credit: Pan-African Visions

The leadership of Caritas Zambia has lauded the country's President for committing to agricultural innovation and food security at the just concluded UN Food Systems Summit in New York, USA. 

In his September 23 address, President Hakainde Hichilema (HH) said that the quality of food must be accompanied by a strong agricultural value chain. The Zambian President also highlighted the need for appropriate technology, innovation and agricultural research to enhance food productivity. 

“Caritas Zambia appreciates the commitments shared to the UN Food Summit by His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema that spoke to the improvement of agriculture extension services; investment in research; regeneration of land and the protection of biodiversity; the regeneration of indigenous species; forest management; and a robust tree planting exercise,” Caritas officials in Zambia say in their statement shared with ACI Africa. 

The Caritas officials also appreciate “the fact that the government recognizes that the production of quality foods needs will be supported by a robust and sustainable agriculture value chain.”

In this spirit, officials of the development and humanitarian arm of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) express the hope that “no rural farmer, especially small scale, will be left behind in the attaining of food and seed sovereignty in Zambia.”

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In their statement signed by the Livelihoods and Climate Change Program Specialist, Ms. Musamba Mubanga, Caritas Zambia leadership welcomes the “proposed actions and hopes that it will lead to the preservation of the ecosystems and pave way for genuine human participation, ensuring that the experience and wisdom of our traditional rural farmers in the country contribute to the national decisions and programs to improve agriculture.”

In order to cement the proposals made by the President, Caritas Zambia officials highlight three concerns that the Zambian government needs to clarify. 

First, they say that HH’s government needs to “clearly” explain what sustainable agriculture practices entail in practice. 

Secondly, Caritas officials say that the Zambian government should shed light on “how the promotion of local breeds and varieties will be integrated and maintained, especially indigenous seed production.”

Finally, the leadership of Caritas Zambia highlights President HH’s focus on appropriate technology and innovation in the agricultural sector and call on the government to “clearly define what is meant by ‘appropriate’ as the government commits itself to ecological and social justice.”

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Last month, Caritas Zambia officials urged President HH who was sworn in as the country’s President on August 24 to spearhead  farming techniques in the Southern African nation that are environmentally friendly.

“We urge you to urgently and progressively move towards agroecology. We should adopt agroecology principles for a sustainable food system and for climate change adaptation,” Caritas Zambia officials said in their August 26 statement. 

Embracing agroecology will help the country shift from the expensive and harmful chemical intensive industrial agriculture to ecologically intensive organic farming which has “fantastic benefits for small scale farmers,” they added.

Agroecology, the Caritas Zambia officials said, “is cheap and crops grown from organic manure are far more superior in nutrition content than crops grown with the use of chemical fertilizers.”