Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya says one of the major contributors to under-development of the livestock sector in Zambia has been the failure to equate it to business.
Speaking at a high-level panel discussion in Berlin, Germany, Ms Siliya said the livestock sector in Zambia has for far too long been a traditional affair where keeping animals has simply been seen as a way of life.
She said on its part, the Zambian government has begun providing a subsidy to livestock farmers for their pesticides in the same way it has provided for their crop counterparts.
She noted that the mindset of livestock owners has always been that it was the responsibility of government to take care of their animals when they were threatened by disease.
The Minister told a panel discussion called by the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture to discuss livestock sustainability, held at the City Cube of Messe, Berlin, Germany.
Ms. Siliya says the livestock industry in Zambia could flourish because there is a huge market in the southern and eastern African region with a combined population of about 500 to 600 million people.
She said what Zambia needs is support in research and development along with best practices and that with technology it is possible to share knowledge around livestock management.
The Minister of Agriculture reminded the panel that
consisted of over 200 million observers that Zambia and Africa were not major contributors to the forces that have led to climate change.