By Paul Shalala in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Agriculture Deputy Minister Greyford Monde (below) says thousands of women and youths have been liberated from poverty through government's deliberate policy of encouraging people to venture into agriculture.
Mr Monde says through the Farmer Input Support Programme -FISP and the Citizen's Economic Empowerment Commission -CEEC Funds, government has deliberately helped women and youths to be empowered and thereby helping them move out of poverty.
He adds that women and youths are an integral part of government's development agenda and the thousands who have been liberated from poverty have been economically empowered to be self reliant.
The Itezhi-Tezhi Member of Parliament said this when he appeared on a panel discussion at the on-going Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture which is taking place at the African Union Headquarters.
Mr Monde says the Zambian government has also come up with a deliberate policy that encourages college graduates to venture into agriculture at a tender age.
He says entering agriculture when one has retired from employment is not productive as one's energy would have already been lost.
The two day Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture which opened this morning, has attracted ministers from all African countries.
Mr MONDE is representing the Zambia government together with Local Government Deputy Minister Nicholas Mwale.