FRANK MUKUPA writes
GOVERNMENT should embark on robust efforts to support the agriculture to withstand droughts and floods experienced in the last few years, says the Jesuits Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
JCTR Media and Information Officer, Enock Ngoma, observed the need to invest in horticulture, irrigation systems and alternative farming methods to ensure food security.
Mr Ngoma said such methods were important in the face of droughts and floods experienced in the last few years.
“This is to ensure that locals can productively grow and produce diverse foods for both consumption and commercial purposes thereby creating employment and reducing food imports,” he said in a statement. Mr Ngoma also observed the urgent need to address Zambia’s energy challenges.
Dry spells, he said, had contributed to grave inefficiencies with regards to electricity supply as the economy was driven and largely relied on hydro generated electricity.
“Additionally, Government will do well to support the private sector by not crowding out potential investments but creating incentives that allows the private sector to thrive.
“Therefore, prioritisation of the dismantling of domestic debt will help pump into the economy the much needed stimulation,” Mr Ngoma said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ngoma said, JCTR was concerned with the sustained significant increases in the cost of living.
He explained that increases in electricity and fuel rates effected on 1st January 2020 and 27th December 2019 respectively had evidently led to high production and transportation costs and consequently increased prices for some goods.
“A high cost of living threatens the wellbeing of household’s right to good health and life as their basic requirements are unattainable given the prevailing economic situation.
“Subsequently this rise will continue to further decrease the social and economic well-being of the citizenry especially the poor and vulnerable,” Mr Ngoma said.
FRANK MUKUPA writes