IFAD Asset Request Portlet

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Statement by Zambia to the 24th Session of IFAD's Governing Council

THE CHAIRMAN,
DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

IT GIVES ME MUCH PLEASURE AND GRATITUDE TO BE ACCORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK AT THIS TWENTY- FOURTH SESSION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF IFAD. ZAMBIA JOINS OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN RECOGNISING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS EVENT AND HER PARTICIPATION IS EVIDENCE ENOUGH OF THE COUNTRY’S COMMITMENT TOWARDS THE ASPIRATIONS OF IFAD.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

IT IS GRATIFYING TO NOTE THAT IFAD CONTINUES TO EXCEL IN FULFILLING ITS MANDATE OF HELPING THE POOREST POPULATIONS IN RURAL AREAS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES INCLUDING AFRICA. A NUMBER OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO PUT BACK THEIR ECONOMIES ON COURSE BUT MOST OFTEN HAVE BEEN MET BY INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL FORCES SOMETIMES WHICH ACT AS SHOCKS TO THEIR FRAGILE ECONOMIES.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

ZAMBIA IS NO EXCEPTION. DESPITE THE VAST AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE ENDOWMENT IN TERMS OF LAND, LABOUR, AND WATER THAT THE COUNTRY POSSESSES, THE COUNTRY HAS CONTINUED TO EXPERIENCE FOOD INSECURITY THEREBY RAISING POVERTY LEVELS. EXISTING GOVERNMENT REPORTS INDICATE THAT THE WIDESPREAD AND WORSENING POVERTY SITUATION IN ZAMBIA CURRENTLY AFFECTS 70% OF THE ESTIMATED NINE (9) MILLION PEOPLE. AS INCOMES CONTINUE TO DECLINE AND PRODUCTIVE ASSESTS CONTINUE TO DWINDLE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

IT IS IN THIS VEIN THAT THE SUPPORT EXTENDED TO US BY OUR CO-OPERATING PARTNERS IN MITIGATING SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS IS BEING APPRECIATED. IN THE SPIRIT OF CO-OPERATION, IFAD HAS CONTINUED TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS IN ZAMBIA. IFAD'S SUPPORT HAS BEEN DIRECTED TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT AND MODERNISATION OF THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR THEREBY CONTRIBUTING DIRECTLY TO POVERTY REDUCTION. THE SUPPORT BEING PROVIDED BY IFAD TO THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IN ZAMBIA COMPLEMENTS THE EFFORT BEING MADE BY THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT TO DEVELOP THIS SECTOR.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

THIS NOBLE ASPIRATION CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED IF THE SECTOR HAS CLEAR POLICIES WITH ACHIEVABLE OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES TO IMPLEMEMENT IT. I’M COGNISANCE OF THE FACT THAT, AS THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR EVOLVES, CHANGE BECOMES INEVITABLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS. PRIORITIES AND STRATEGIES WILL HAVE TO CHANGE WITH TIME AS NEW ISSUES AND CHALLENGES EMERGE AND NEW OPTIONS BECOME AVAILABLE.

AS PART OF OUR FUTURE IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY THEREFORE, WE WOULD LIKE TO CONSOLIDATE THE LESSONS AND EXPERIENCES LEARNED IN PROGRAMMES FUNDED BY IFAD AND OTHER CO-OPERATING PARTNERS IN THE PAST.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

BY WAY OF BUILDING LOCAL INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY, IFAD HAS BEEN SUPPORTING THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR INVESTMENT PROGRAMME (ASIP), WHICH IS THE GOVERNMENT'S MAIN INSTRUMENT FOR DEVELOPING THE SMALLHOLDER SUB SECTOR AFFECTED BY FOOD INSECURITY AND LOW INCOMES. THIS IS BEING DONE IN LINE WITH THE POVERTY STRATEGY REDUCTION PROGRAMME (PSRP) BEING SPEARHEADED BY THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF OUR COUNTRY. THE MAIN THRUST OF THE POVERTY

REDUCTION STRATEGY PAPER IS TO IDENTIFY PROGRAMMES THAT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO POVERTY REDUCTION AMONG THE POOR ESPECIALLY IN THE RURAL OUTLYING AREAS OF THE COUNTRY. IFAD HAS ALSO BEEN TACKLING ISSUES OF NUTRITION AND FOOD SECURITY THEREBY CONTRIBUTING EFFECTIVELY TO POVERTY REDUCTION. THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT APPRECIATES THIS PARTNERSHIP WITH IFAD.

MY COUNTRY IS ALSO GRATEFUL FOR IFAD'S DECISION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)/WORLD BANK DEBT INITIATIVE FOR HEAVILY INDEBTED POOR COUNTRIES (HIPC) OF WHICH ZAMBIA QUALIFIED. MY COUNTRY IS HOPEFUL THAT RESOURCES MADE AVAILABLE FROM THE DEBT INITIATIVE WOULD GO A LONG WAY IN SUPPORTING EFFORTS OF POVERTY REDUCTION.

MR CHAIRMAN,

I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE AT THIS JUNCTURE THE MAJOR POSITIVE IMPACTS THAT HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED FROM THE IFAD FUNDED PROGRAMMES BEING IMPLEMENTED IN ZAMBIA:

  • THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN SMALLHOLDER PRODUCTION AND INCOME GENERATION.

  • THE FEEDER ROADS HAVE OPENED UP AREAS, WHICH PREVIOUSLY WERE NOT ACCESSIBLE. THE INVOLVEMENT OF WOMEN IN FEEDER ROAD REHABILITATION HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF GENDER ISSUES.

  • THERE HAS B BEEN SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SKILLS IN GOVERNANCE BOTH AT THE DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY LEVEL. AS A RESULT CAPACITY TO UNDERTAKE DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES HAS BEEN CREATED.

  • GOOD COLLABORATION BY MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND FISHERIES WITH NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS IN SERVICE DELIVERY AND COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION HAS PROVIDED GOOD LESSONS FOR A COST EFFECTIVE EXTENSION SERVICE,
  • RURAL WATER HAS BEEN PROVIDED IN AREAS WITH NO ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF CLEAN WATER.

  • SEED MULTIPLICATION FOR CROPS WHICH REQUIRE LOW INPUT AND ARE DROUGHT TOLERANT HAVE BEEN PROMOTED I.E MAIZE, COWPEAS, SUNFLOWER, SORGHUM, BEANS, CASSAVA, SWEET POTATOES AND SUN HEMP.

  • THERE HAS BEEN FLEXIBLE RESPONSE TO UNFORESEEN EMERGENCES E.G. DROUGHT. FACILITIES HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED AT COMMUNITY LEVEL AT REASONABLE COST. ALL THESE HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUNDS PROVIDED BY IFAD.

ADDITIONALLY MR. CHAIRMAN, I WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE EFFORT THAT IFAD IS MAKING IN PROMOTING PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES IN AGRICULTURE TO FOSTER DEVELOPMENT. IT IS EQUALLY OUR VIEW IN ZAMBIA THAT UNLESS THE POOR RESOURCE FARMERS FULLY PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION, NO MEANINGFUL AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WOULD TAKE PLACE.

IN CONCLUDING, I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO IFAD FOR MAKING FUNDS AVAILABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS IN ZAMBIA. IFAD HAS CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED ITS COMMITMENT TO FOSTER RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, WHICH IN

TURN WILL CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS POVERTY REDUCTION. AS A COUNTRY WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTINUED COOPERATION WITH IFAD IN PURSUING OUR DEVELOPMENT GOALS SO AS TO MAKE ZAMBIA POSITIVELY CONTRIBUTE TO THE REALISATION OF IFAD'S VISION OF POVERTY ALLEVIATION BY 2015.

I THANK YOU.

STATEMENT BY HON. YOTAM J. NGULUBE, M.P, DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND FISHERIES