LUSAKA, Zambia – Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema met with the heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy, this week to discuss agricultural development in his country.
During his meeting with FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, Hichilema acknowledged the organization’s support for sustainable forestry in Zambia and emphasized the government’s focus on increasing production and productivity to improve food security for the nation and the region.
He also urged the FAO to leverage Zambia’s central location and favorable hydrological and water conditions for two cycles of cereal crop production per year, enhancing per-acre yields.
In his meeting with IFAD President Alvaro Lario, Hichilema discussed the organization’s country program’s role in connecting small-scale farmers with rural financial services.
He also sought collaboration with IFAD to strengthen food security in Zambia.
Hichilema also visited Maccarese Farm in North Rome, Italy, where he was impressed by the facility’s use of biogas to generate electricity from cow dung.
He urged Maccarese Farm to replicate this model in Zambia through a partnership with local farmers.
Hichilema emphasized his belief that farming is a viable investment for the present and the future. He noted Zambia’s strategic land-linked position and the proximity to the Lobito, Benguela, and Dar es Salaam Corridors, which he said put the country in an advantageous position to supply farm products to the region and beyond.