The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) says economic diversification is a must for the country because depending entirely on the mining sector is not sustainable.
According to CSPR vice-board chairperson, Partner Siabutuba, it is not enough for the Government to continually say that the economy would be diversified when it is not putting corresponding resources into sectors like agriculture.
Siabutuba said that agriculture has the ability to help the country economically and as such, should be given utmost support by the Government because of the critical role it plays in eradicating poverty.
“Without meaningful investment in the agriculture sector, we shall have difficulties replacing the mining sector with the agriculture sector. In our efforts to diversify our economy, we need to ensure that we invest more in this sector. Failure to do that [will result in] poverty,” he said.
Siabutuba added that Zambia could not afford to be fully dependent on one sector while trying to reduce its high poverty levels. He emphasised the importance of the Government to ensure that the agriculture sector was also given priority in terms of resource allocation.
“Erratic resource allocation won’t help with the implementation of programmes meant to reduce poverty in our country. Poverty levels in our country are high and even government officials themselves have made pronouncements that the poverty levels are high, so we need to work hard to ensure that levels are reduced,” Siabutuba concluded.