By LAWRENCE KABUTU
The European Union has disbursed 6.2 million Euros to 15 member states for a three year Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional agriculture policy project aimed at actualizing sustainable agriculture growth.
SADC Representative National Focal Point Person for the Project Edward Mushota said the project will improve market access in crop and livestock to ensure farmers have a better price for their commodities.
Briefing senior agricultural officers at the Southern province agricultural coordinator’s office at Lusumpuko house in Choma, Mr. Mushota noted that the project will have three components that include agriculture information management system where all the 15 SADC member states will be linked to the regional system.
Mr. Mushota said the other components include animal and plant health in which key animal and plant diseases will be screened at all boarder points to abate diseases that affect the marketing of both crops and livestock products to other countries.
He disclosed that laboratories at the Kazungula one boarder post will be constructed to screen all plant and animal products and consequently quarantine the products with diseases from outside the country.
And Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Assistant Country Representative Geoffrey Chomba said Zambia has been advanced K2 million under the project for the start under surveillance activities.
Mr. Chomba said the three year project was launched in Zambia in July and will also have specific emphasis on nutrition, trade and agriculture information system.
He underscored that one of the key emphasis of the project is to actualize the regional agriculture policy.
And Southern Province Agricultural Coordinator Max Choombe urged his officers to ensure closer collaboration in the implementation of the project in the areas of disease and pest diagnosis to enable the country export to the foreign market.
Dr. Choombe said weak surveillance of pests and diseases in plant and animal products can culminate into entry of pests and diseases in the country. ENDS/LK/NAIS/Choma
By LAWRENCE KABUTU