President Edgar Lungu says government will soon roll out the construction of bulk water irrigation projects countrywide to enhance national food security.
And President Lungu says now is the time for the country to reduce its dependence on rain and embrace irrigation agriculture considering effects of climate change.
He says this is being seen in unfavorable rain patterns like is the current situation where the country is experiencing erratic rains.
Speaking when he officiated at the handover ceremony of Mwomboshi Irrigation dam and reservoir to government in Chisamba, President Lungu said the completion of the project marks the turning of a new page in agriculture development.
President Lungu said the construction of the biggest irrigation dam in the country by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company-AFECC- is an engineering feature and comes nine months ahead of schedule.
He said the development is a serious wake-up call for those who abandon works and fail to meet deadlines.
The Head of state further tasked the ministries of agriculture and finance to source for funding to take water to the farm steads, failure to which the project would have failed to fulfill its purpose.
At the same occasion, Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo said productivity in the agriculture sector especially among small scale farmers has been low due to dependence on rain fed agriculture.
Mr. Katambo said climate change effects are real hence the need to dam rivers for sustainable food production.
And Chinese Embassy charge d’affaires Bo Lai said the two countries enjoy cooperation in various areas of development which must be enhanced.
Mr. Bo said the Mwomboshi Irrigation dam will help improve agriculture in central province and praised the contractor Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company-AFECC- for delivering a quality project on time.
Meanwhile, Central province Minister Sydney Mushanga said the region is poised for economic growth following several projects initiated by government in agriculture and manufacturing.