The Government of Japan agreed to allocate counter-part funds amounting to K650 million, equivalent to approximately 140,000 US dollars, in April 2010 to the Government of the Republic of Zambia for the implementation of the Project for Upgrading of Plant Protection and Quarantine Facilities and Irrigation System for Improved Insect Pests and Diseases Control in Zambia. On 7th June 2012, the hand-over ceremony to the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) of these completed facilities took place. Dr. David Shamulenge, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Mr. Atsushi Kuwabara, Chargé d’Affaires ad intérim of Japan to Zambia, attended the ceremony to represent the Zambian and Japanese government.

The aim of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Division of ZARI for improving service delivery on insect pests and diseases identification and control strategies. Specifically, the fund has been used for the improvement of ZARI capacity in early detection of virus diseases and multiplication of disease-free planting materials. It is also used for the improvement of the irrigation system for the proper management of the multiplication nurseries.

Japan has been extending its development assistance to the agriculture sector in Zambia based on the belief that improvement of agricultural expertise has a direct impact on the attainment of sustainable food security, and thus the poverty alleviation, for the people of Zambia.

Japan started its cooperation for Zambia’s agriculture sector in 1980. For six years from October 2006 to February 2012 Japan supported the farming communities in rural areas of Zambia by promoting non-maize food crops such as root, tubers and legumes for crop diversification through the FODIS & the FODISⅡ Projects. Through implementation of these projects, the importance of minimizing crop losses due to viral diseases was recognized anew. From this point of view, this project contributes very effectively and efficiently to ZARI and agricultural development in Zambia.

From the end of June 2012 for three years the Government of Japan and JICA will start a new project ‘FODIS-R’, where R stands for rice, with ZARI to further support crop diversification through promotion of rice cropping. It is hoped that the result of these long-term projects will give the Zambian crop diversification policy huge benefits and profits.                        

To read speech by Charge d'Affaires ad interim Kuwabara at this ceremony, please click here


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