Speaking at during the signing ceremony of the bilateral agreement with the Finish government in Lusaka May 7th, ZNFU Executive Director Ndambo Ndambo says out of the 21.2 million Euros, Finland will contribute 36%, while ZNFU and SIDA will each contribute 25% and the remaining amount will be contributed by a few other externally funded projects such as the conversation farming unit, Musika and others.
Mr Ndambo says the 2014-2017 Core programme is designed to assist ZNFU to effectively continue lobbying for a predictable policy environment for private sector led agricultural development, lobby for clear cut policies on agricultural inputs and out output markets.
He adds that this will also help in improving the competitiveness of the Zambian agriculture sector and will also help in lobbying for smart and innovative incentives for improved private sector investments in agriculture.
And speaking at the same occasion, Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen says the implementation of the first phase of the Core programme has been successful in increasing incomes, food and nutrition security levels among small holder farmers through the Lima credit scheme.
Mr. Anttinen however notes that despite the progress, small holder farmers continue to face challenges of low productivity, competiveness, access to agricultural finance and extension services among others.
Finland and ZNFU have signed a four million Euros grant agreement which is part of the seven million six hundred thousand Euros financial contribution expected from Finland for the four year Core Support Programme Phase two.