Bumper Harvest and Cheaper Food Take Centre Stage on Independence Day

Oct 25, 2010, 10:58 ET from State House Lusaka, Republic of Zambia

LUSAKA, Zambia, October 25, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- All of Zambia united yesterday in celebrating the nation's 46th Independence Day. Speaking on this historic occasion, His Excellency Mr Rupiah Banda, President of Zambia, called on all Zambians to continue to follow the path of unity and peace laid down by the founding fathers and mothers of Zambia.

Reflecting on this year's celebratory theme of "Consolidating Our Independence Through Food Security," the President hailed his Government's revised and improved farmer input support programme which delivered this year's record breaking bumper maize harvest.

President Banda said: "Join me in congratulating the farming community, particularly small scale farmers who are the majority in Zambia. Their contribution to the attainment of the Government's policy objective of ensuring national food security is to be saluted."

Under the President's leadership Zambia is benefitting from this year's biggest ever harvest, producing 2.78 million tonnes of maize - a surplus of more than 1 million tones - leading to a reduction in inflation rate to 7.7 per cent in September 2010.

Demonstrating his commitment to food security, President Banda has launched a programme of agriculture, infrastructure, health and education investment and development aimed at making agricultural supplies cheaper and more competitive. He now calls for the private sector to work together with the Government to build on this foundation in the quest for prosperity, growth and job security.

"I cannot stress enough the importance of national food security; if we cannot feed ourselves we are not truly independent. So as we take a moment to celebrate our independence through food security, I pledge that your government will continue maintaining economic stability and improving the investment climate to further foster growth for the benefit of all Zambians."

Demonstrating his commitment to Zambia the President spoke of the importance of planning for the future of all Zambians, evident by the recent reduction of more than 80 per cent in childhood malnutrition. He called on all Zambians to part take in the newly launched Census which is currently sweeping through the country. The Census will help the Government to "plan in a way which will benefit our growing population," the President said.

SOURCE State House Lusaka, Republic of Zambia