2)–Zambia’s economic performance improves

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—-The 2013 annual Economic Report has described the performance of the Zambian economy in 2013 as favorable.

According to the report made available to Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Lusaka by the Ministry of Finance today the economy registered 6.4 percent real GDP growth.

The report attributed the slowdown of the economic performance to the decline in output in the primary and secondary sectors.

Growth in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector slowed down to negative 7.4 percent in 2013 from 6.8 percent in 2012.

The fishing sub sectors registered a decline of negative 15.4 percent while the forestry sub sector maintained a growth of 3.7 percent.

Despite the slowdown in the economy the country was able to maintain food security and sufficient stocks to meet industrial requirements.

Under the crop production, the 2012/2013 farming season saw a decline in the output of major food and cash crops despite an increase in areas planted.

The annual report attributed the poor crop yield to poor rainfall performance and infestation of arm worms during the early part of the season under review.

Maize production declined by 11.2 percent to 2,532,800 Mt in the 2012/2013 farming season from 2,852,687 Mt in the 2011/2012 season.

Meanwhile, the Report indicates that cotton production also declined by 48.2 percent to 139,583 Mt from 269,502 Mt in the previous season.

Cash crops such as soya beans, sunflower, wheat and barley tobacco registered increased production in 2013.