Today I have begun my visit to Central Province district starting with Mumbwa where ADD President Charles Milupi and former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa have joined me to campaign in Freedom Square. I am grateful for their continued support and for the crowds who came to greet me along the way. A large rally is planned for tomorrow in Kabwe.
The economy in Central Province has lots of potential but we need to unlock this. Firstly we need to address the current problems regarding mismanagement of the agriculture sector, secondly transport infrastructure needs to be improved, and thirdly we should consider how we can diversify the economy by reviving mining activities, as long as this is done in a safe and responsible manner.
Central Province is at the heart of our country and we need to make sure it has everything it needs to be the transport hub of Zambia. It will also be key in our endeavours to reduce the cost of food, due to the large farming community here.
I wish to reiterate our commitment that we shall pay special attention to the farmers by paying them on time, and communicating with them in advance so they can plan better ahead of time.
Once we have paid farmers what they are owed we can open up and improve the agriculture sector further. For example, we should think about how we can enable key towns in Zambia to have milling facilities, which can help create jobs and lower the cost of mealie meal. In addition, feeder roads for transportation of crops should be regularly attended to reduce the challenges facing farmers, and again food prices.
Let us unite together on 20th January 2015 to deliver change for Zambians and better support for farmers.