Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute participated on the Public Discussion Forum organized by the Economic Association of Zambia yesterday 11th May, 2023 Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka. The topic of discussion was, ‘Understanding the Comprehensive Agriculture Transformation and Support Program.’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Green Mbozi noted that Comprehensive Agricultural Transformation and Support Program (CATSP) was a comprehensive framework to drive the sustainable growth of the agriculture sector. He said CATSP implementation also takes a value chain approach which has some ongoing commodities that such as farm block development, irrigation development, agricultural processing and marketing which will therefore generate food and nutrition security, reduce on imports, and increase on exports, job creation, value addition among others.
It was stated that CATSP has 7 strategic priorities, 7 sub programs, 26 investment areas and 90 policy implementation measures. Among the priority areas is Upgrade infrastructure production processing and trading, increasing investment for research and development and enhance the uptake of technology, promote land tenure security and developmental safeguard among others.
IAPRI’s Senior Research Associate Mr. Auckland Kuteya who was among the discussants acknowledged that if the subprograms highlighted by the P.S were well implemented, CATSP would transform the agriculture sector and easy the heavy dependency on maize in the country.
Mr. Kuteya noted that CATSP would lead to agriculture diversification, cut down on government expenditure through the adoption of E-vulture which would cut down of storage costs and transportation costs. He said cutting down on certain government expenditure would lead to channeling some resources to Research and Development, extension services among other important sub areas.
Meanwhile, the Country Coordinator for Pelum Association of Zambia Mr. Muketoi Wamunyimba was delighted that the P.S clarified on the difference between FISP and CATSP. He said ways of increasing productivity and production had been a major concern in Zambia that needed to be addressed. However, despite the envisioned CATSP framework, Mr. Wamunyimba noted that the Small Holder Farmers’ needs needed to be prioritized because they were the major producers of food in the country.