The Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) is on an aggressive drive to change the agricultural landscape of the country, especially areas prone to seasonal drought.
A major irrigation plan is underway that will see many valley dams built to harvest and store water.
The Eastern Province experienced a serious drought this year forcing the government to put in place emergency food distribution measures to those most affected.
But why should a country blessed with abundant rainfall and many water bodies go through such a traumatic experience of the possibility of hunger knocking on its doorstep?
When will we be in a position to have full control over how our water behaves, how to manage it?
When countries that sprung out of deserts are able to become major suppliers of fruits and vegetable, that should be enough motivation for us to strive to do better; but that calls for meticulous planning.
However, planning alone is not enough to keep us food secure, modern agriculture is the way.
Working tirelessly to make sure there is a continuous supply of seeds by locally multiplying them through well-grounded research should be MINAGRI’s mantra.
We should stop relying on seed imports from countries such as Zambia, Kenya or Zimbabwe where delays can have severe consequences for agricultural production, as some agro-dealers complain. We should dig deeper for solutions.
What is stopping local stakeholders from acquiring the capacity to emulate those countries that supply our farmers with seeds? Is it lack of qualified manpower or research capabilities? If so, then that is where we should focus our energy to fill the gap.