Zambia’s president Edgar Lungu, has decided to diversify the nation’s economy by focusing on unlocking the agriculture potentials of tropical Zambia, while reducing its dependence on copper mining.
The president expressed this after being sworn in for a new five-year term.
Although Zambia’s economy has been hard hit by depressed copper prices, diversifying into agriculture still presents a number of difficulties.
Reports say the agriculture sector is one that still needs a lot of development.
This is owing to the fact that it is focused on staple maize and is mostly produced by subsistence farmers who lack the capital and technology to lift yields.
The future of the copper industry in Zambia was thrown into doubt in January 2002, when investors in Zambia’s largest copper mine announced their intention to withdraw their investment.
However, surging copper prices between 2004 and 2016, rapidly rekindled international interest in Zambia’s copper sector.
Prospects for resuming critical budget support talks with the International Monetary Fund have however been delayed, due to the swearing in of a new head of state.