January 19, 2016 - Zambia and Germany have further strengthened relations through signing a Joint Declaration of Intent on cooperation in the fields of Agriculture and Food.
The Joint Declaration of Intent was signed yesterday, Monday 18th January 2016 at the Hotel Adlon Hempinski in Berlin, Germany on the side-lines of the 5th AGCO Africa Summit.
The signed joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Zambia and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) of the Federal Republic of Germany is a continuation of the commitment to the Germany-Zambian Agricultural Knowledge and Training Centre (AKTC) and a further step with a view to promoting climate smart agriculture in the field of Agro-forestry.
Agriculture Minister Hon. Given Lubinda signed the Joint Declaration of Intent on behalf of the Zambian government while the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Christian Schmidt signed on behalf of the Federal Government.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Bwalya Chiti and other senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture attended the signing ceremony.
Speaking during a bilateral meeting with Federal Minister Schmidt before the signing of the Declaration of Intent, Hon. Lubinda said he was happy to sign a Joint Declaration of Intent that will promote Agro-forestry in Zambia as it will assist farmers to invest more in alternative methods of production to increase the health of the soils and productivity.
Hon. Lubinda noted that Agro-forestry if well embraced would increase agriculture productivity by maintaining soil fertility and counteracting deforestation.
The Minister further acknowledged the significant role the Agricultural Knowledge and Training Centre was playing in improving production, with its introduction of mechanisation to the Zambian farmers.
The Minister said Zambia and Germany have enjoyed equal and mutually beneficial relations and hoped that the two countries would continue to further enhance cooperation in the agriculture sector.
“I sincerely want to thank the German government for cooperating with Zambia in these areas, there are indeed areas that will improve not only agriculture, but through agriculture, will improve the health status of our people and reduce the level of poverty of our people, “ said Hon. Lubinda.
And Mr. Schmidt expressed satisfaction in signing the Declaration of Intent and further suggested that within the said framework agreement, the two Agriculture Ministries could develop further exemplary programmes that would show the way to the future in terms of cooperation.
Minister Schmidt noted there is still more work to be done on the mechanisation in the field of agriculture for the benefit of smallholder farmers to help improve production.
He added that his Ministry was pleased to cooperate very closely with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development which already has an on-going project in Zambia on small-scale farming.
Minister Schmidt also took the opportunity to congratulate Zambia for being the country that will be hosting the next 134th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in March 2016.