By Bennie Mundando
THE Egypt-Zambia Joint Venture (JV) Farm committee annual meeting was held in Cairo under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of the Arab Republic of Egypt to further solidify the farm venture created 14 years ago in Mwembeshi and the recently acquired farm in Kabwe.
Counsellor of Tourism at the Zambia Embassy in Egypt, Chishimba Kabwe, says the Zambian delegation comprised Ministry of Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Masiye Banda, Commissioner General of the Zambia Correctional Service Chileshe Chisela, Zambia’s Ambassador to Egypt Maj. Gen Topply Lubaya (Rtd) and other senior Government officials.
Mr. Kabwe says the meeting deliberated on the annual report, proposed plan for the joint venture and the budget.
Mr. Banda informed the meeting that the Zambian Government has prioritized a number of programmes under agriculture such as Agricultural Mechanisation, Irrigation Development, Research and Development, Farm Block Development and Diversification and Value Addition.
Mr. Banda stressed on the need for the Joint Venture to keep the focus by ensuring the projects benefit both Zambia and Egypt.
The Permanent Secretary noted the Egyptian Government’s commitment towards the Joint Venture through the massive support and investment in Capacity Building Programmes under which a large number of Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) Officers, inmates, local small scale and peasant farmers as well as students from various universities and colleges have greatly benefited.
Mr. Banda requested the host country to also consider in future the creation of similar projects in all the ten (10) provinces of Zambia. The project has contributed to increasing food security in Zambia and creating employment opportunities for the locals.
And Maj. Gen Lubaya took advantage of the gathering by marketing Zambia’s economic and Investment potential through the five (5) priority pillars in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Tourism, Manufacturing and Energy sectors, among others.
The Zambian team had an opportunity to visit an Egyptian Buffalo Farm in Ismailia governorate, the Suez Canal and one of the Correctional Facilities.
The Farming Joint Venture was created between two brotherly countries to enhance Zambia’s Correctional Service food production, improve crop varieties through research cooperation and food security for the Service and the country.
This initiative marks a significant step in strengthening further the bilateral relations between the two countries that have existed since 1965.
The Farming Joint Venture is one of the most successful farming projects by the Egyptian Government with any other country in Africa.