South Africa is open for business and awaits partnerships from the Zambian and regional private sector, says President Jacob Zuma.
“As the South African government, we have urged our private sector to participate in the economic growth of the region including Zambia,” President Zuma said.
Addressing the 91st Agricultural and Commercial Show in Zambia on Saturday, he said he was pleased that the South African private sector has taken up the opportunity availed by the show.
He said a number of South African companies continue to operate in Zambia principally in the mining, tourism, agriculture, and retail sectors.
“Considering the annual variations in food production in the region due to changing weather patterns, there is a need to review the work done on the establishment of a Regional Food Reserve Facility,” President Zuma said.
Reviewing the work done would provide Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a mechanism for preventing and preparing for adverse impacts and shocks to food security.
“This is more important given the negative effects of climate change which poses a serious threat to agriculture and food security in the region.
“Climate change affects the three pillars of food security, namely food availability, food access and food safety and nutrition.
“Its impact on temperature and the increased frequency of drought and floods are detrimental to the development of the agricultural sector,” he said.
President Zuma said research plays an important role in the adaptation to climate change within SADC.
He said for agriculture to make a meaningful contribution to the achievement of the aspirations of Agenda 2063, a transformed and modernised agriculture, backed by adequate investments and technological support is imperative.
“In this regard, Agro-processing, Agribusiness and green industries are some of the priority areas that we shall be focusing on during our tenure,” President Zuma said.
South Africa and Zambia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of agriculture in December 2009.
“It enables the two countries to share agricultural development experiences, capacity building and skills development programmes amongst other areas of cooperation.
“We have signed numerous bilateral agreements in various sectors and new ones are still under discussion,” President Zuma said.