Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo-says Government is investing in rice production to reduce the deficit which stands at Forty-Five Thousand Metric Tonnes.
Mr. Katambo says farmers are producing less than Two Metric Tonnes per hectare which is much lower than the global average productivity.
He explained that his Ministry and Zambia Agriculture Research Institute with the support from Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) are working at improving rice techniques to improve productivity.
He was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Luapula province Deputy Permanent Secretary Lord Chakaba during the Rice field Day held in Fibalala area in Samfya.
Mr. Katambo noted that Government can no longer rely on maize alone but that it needs to embrace other cereals.
And, JICA Rice Dissemination Project Coordinator Goichi Sasaki said the five-year project is worth over 50 million Kwacha.
Mr. Sasaki stated that the target areas are in eight provinces but JICA is currently working in four provinces namely Luapula, Eastern, North western and Western.
He added that Four Thousand Seven Hundred small scale farmers are expected to benefit.
Meanwhile, sub chief Kabongo of the Kabende people in Chief Kalasa Mukoso has enocuraged his people to get involved in the project which he said is meant to empower the less privileged.