By STEVEN ZANDE –
THE ministry of Defence is keen to actualise President Edgar Lungu’s directive to venture into agriculture to contribute to national food security, Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale has said.
Mr Mwale said the Government will soon be canceling memoranda of understanding with institutions that are not committed to actualising the Defence’s aspirations to venture into full fledged agriculture.
“My Ministry is, therefore, considering to work with Prasad Seeds of India, through a joint venture or public private partnership in order to achieve food security for the country,” he said.
He said this in Lusaka recently when Zambia’s High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijimpanga took Prasad Seeds Company who wanted to set up a state-of-the-art seed processing facility in Zambia.
This is contained in a statement issued by First Secretary Press and Tourism at the Zambian Mission in India, Bangwe Naviley.
Mr Mwale said his Ministry had action oriented officers who did not delay to implement the set targets.
He said Ministry of Defence had concluded a mission to Muchinga Province to secure vast irrigation, land for food security, especially through the Zambia National Service (ZNS).
Ms Kapijimpanga said Zambia was currently importing paddy rice seeds and vegetable seeds.
“The idea of the ministry of Defence to partner with Prasad Seeds can go a long way in securing Zambia’s food security if paddy rice and vegetable seeds are processed locally,” Ms Kapijimpanga said.
She said Prasad Seeds Company had an out-grower scheme which would empower women and youths by giving them seeds for seed processing.
Prasad Seeds general manager for Africa Sreekumar Nair assured the Government that his company which provided 70 per cent of India’s seed requirements was keen to invest in Zambia.