Germany, January 20, 2016 - The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Zambia and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic have agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at improving Zambia’s agricultural productivity.
The MoU that will clearly outline possible areas of cooperation between the two Ministries is expected to be signed in April, 2016.
Czech Minister of Agriculture Hon. Marian Jurecka said in Berlin on Friday that the MoU with specified areas of cooperation will allow stronger and defined working relations between the two Ministries.
Making reference to some of the possible areas of cooperation, Minister Jurecka mentioned that Zambia would be offered possibilities for exchange of know-how areas at the Czech Ministry of Agriculture and other research institutions.
“Your people can have a chance to see how we work, how the European registration works and find out what the experiences are, just in case you are interested,” Minister Jurecka said.
Minister Jurecka was speaking during a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2016 with Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture Hon. Given Lubinda in Berlin. He was accompanied by Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Berlin, Mr. Tomas Jan Podivinsky; First Deputy Minister (Law and Administrative section) Mr. Jiri Jirsa; Deputy Minister (Food Production Section) Mrs. Viera Sediva; Deputy Minister (Commodities, Research and Consultancy Section) Mr. Petr Jilek.
The Zambian Delegation led by Hon. Given Lubinda comprised; Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany H.E. Bwalya Chiti, Senior Planner (Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Kondwani Gondwe, Mrs. Florence Mwami, Senior Executive officer (Ministry of Agriculture), Mrs. Karen Mukuka, Chief Food and Nutrition officer (Ministry of Agriculture), Mr. Martin Mmembe, First Secretary Economic & Trade (Zambian Mission in Berlin) and Ms. Susan Katema First Secretary Tourism (Zambian Embassy in Berlin).
Minister Jurecka further highlighted his Ministry’s readiness to help set up a Farm of Excellence in Zambia that will teach smallholder farmers appropriate technologies.
“We have already looked into possibilities of financing such a project and I must say we are already testing some possibilities and opportunities and are ready to do this in Zambia. This will allow the farmers to exchange experiences and knowledge,” he said.
The Czech Minister further disclosed that the Czech Ministry is working towards introducing scholarship programmes for Zambian secondary school pupils to study in the Czech Republic.
“I have already met with some representatives of secondary agriculture and vocational schools in the Czech Republic and I am hoping that from September this year, we could start the process of scholarships for some schools already,” said Minister Jurecka.
In response, Agriculture Minister Lubinda thanked the Czech government for its continued support in the areas of agriculture and further stressed on the importance to have the two Ministries enter into a Memorandum of Understanding that aims at enhancing the agriculture sector.
The Minister noted that Zambia had a vast land with a lot of potential areas of cooperation that could be exploited for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The Minister mentioned that he intends to visit the Czech Republic with a team to do a roadshow for the business community for possibilities of investment in Zambia.
He further urged his counterpart to consider investing in the agriculture sector in Zambia.
“When I visit your country, I also intend to bring a team to come and roadshow the business people for possibility of investment in Zambia, and maybe it is also time for you to start thinking of investing in agriculture in Zambia,” said Minister Lubinda.