LUSAKA, Zambia, February 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today His Excellency, Mr. Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, officially opened the National Nutrition Consultative Forum at a ceremony in Livingstone in the Southern Province.
The meeting focused on national food security and highlighted President Banda's commitment to providing a better future for all Zambians, not based on tribal or regional allegiances but on genuine need.
During President Banda's administration, he has made the issue of food security a key priority, while investing in the future of farming as a key means for boosting the Zambian economy. He has introduced several initiatives including the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to tackle the issue. As a result, Zambia has more than an 80% reduction in child malnutrition and steadily decreasing food prices.
Under President Banda's leadership, the 2009/2010 season recorded a maize bumper harvest of 2.8 million metric tonnes, the highest ever in Zambia's history. The President also signed the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to strengthen agricultural systems across Africa.
President Banda said: "I am committed to achieving a better place for Zambia in the world by establishing security, stability and prosperity for all Zambians. Our government has delivered growth of just under 7% despite the global recession, thanks to sound government policies. As a result, we are on the journey to becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030."
"We have been blessed with good land and resources. It is crucial that we continue to work together to enhance the well-being of our people. By maintaining steady food production and lower prices, we will be able to create strong foundations on which to build tomorrow's Zambia."
At the recent launch of the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP), President Banda outlined his Government's commitment to cutting rural poverty from 77 percent in 2006 to 50 percent in 2015. His pledge today demonstrates his personal drive to see food and agriculture as key enablers of this.
SOURCE Statehouse, Lusaka, Zambia