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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets with Zambia’s new Minister for Agriculture and Livestock

Minister Lubinda and Graziano da Silva discuss ways to promote agricultural diversification in the country

FAO Director-General with Zambia's Minister for Agriculture and Livestock

23 March 2015, Rome - FAO Director-General today met with Zambia’s newly appointed Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Given Lubinda, in office since last February.

“I look forward to continued and enhanced cooperation between the FAO and Zambia, particularly in the areas of research in agriculture and infrastructure development for support to our counter production,” the Minister said in remarks after the meeting.

He expressed his concern for the lack of diversification of the agriculture sector in the country: “We have been producing more maize than required and very little of other crops”, he said. “We think that with FAO’s collaboration in the areas of investment, farmers support, research and development, we will manage to diversify and move from a maize-centered agriculture sector to including other equally important crops,” he added.

They also talked about the importance of the livestock subsector, “another area of prime importance for us in Zambia,” according to Minister Lubinda, who showed his confidence in the country’s ability to expand activity in livestock and fisheries production. 

Zambia to celebrate the International Year of Soils 2015

The FAO chief and Minister Lubinda also discussed the ongoing International Year of Soils 2015. Declared by the 68th United Nations General Assembly,the IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

“I was very impressed by this initiative,” said the Minister, who will convey “this very important idea” to the Government of Zambia to “set aside a day to celebrate the soil and mother earth”, noting the importance of healthy soils for food production.