At State House, President Hakainde Hichilema welcomed the Banker Association of Zambia, led by Chairperson Ms. Mizinga Melu, for a comprehensive discussion on pivotal topics. Central to their talks was harnessing the ‘Agriculture Credit Window,’ a government initiative aimed at propelling Zambia’s vital agriculture sector.
Recognizing agriculture as the present and future backbone of Zambia’s economy, President Hichilema stressed the urgency of addressing climate change challenges. Despite these obstacles, Zambia’s wealth of water bodies and resources highlights the sector’s strategic significance.
Conversations delved into regional maize demand and geopolitical tensions, notably the Ukraine-Russia conflict, impacting Zambia’s food security. In response, both the delegation and government acknowledged the need to support farmers in doubling their yield from 5 to 10 tones per hectare.
To tackle these hurdles, a proposal emerged to structure and projectized the Agriculture Credit Window. This strategy aims to empower banks to prioritize crucial areas like precision irrigation, water harvesting, and mechanization, ensuring sustainable farming practices.
President Hichilema assured the Banker Association of Zambia of the government’s steps to formalize commodity trade with neighboring countries through secure banking systems. With established market mechanisms and agreements with neighboring nations and the Food Reserve Agency, the President expressed confidence in banks’ seamless credit recovery from farmers.
These discussions highlighted the collaborative strides between the government and financial institutions to fortify Zambia’s agriculture sector. Amid global challenges, these strategic initiatives aim to secure food production and bolster the country’s economic resilience.