The governments of Zambia and Japan have agreed to enhance cooperation for mutual benefit in agriculture and manufacturing. This is part of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) initiative.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kakubo said, he conferred with Japanese State Minister of Foreign Affairs Odawara Kiyoshi and appreciated the support of the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in various fields such as health, water and sanitation, energy, education and infrastructure development.
“Zambia and Japan enjoy excellent longstanding relations since Independence. In 1970, Japan opened it’s mission in Lusaka and Zambia reciprocated by opening of a mission in Tokyo in 1975,” he said.
Agriculture in Zambia
Agriculture contributes about 19% to Zambia’s GDP and employs three quarters of the population. Domestic production is comprised of crops such as maize, sorghum, millet, and cassava while exports are driven by sugar, soybeans, coffee, groundnuts, rice, and cotton as well as horticultural produce.
Zambia covers 75 million hectares (752,000 km2), out of which 58 percent (42 million hectares) is classified as medium-to high-potential for agriculture production. However, only 15 percent of this land is currently under cultivation. Zambia has ample water resources but has done little to exploit them via investments in irrigation systems, and the majority of farms remain dependent on rain-fed growing cycles. While the government has typically opposed importation or use of genetically modified organisms (GMO), the National Biosafety Authority in September 2021 granted import permits to two companies for pet foods made from GMO products, spices, tapioca starch, and soya isolates.