The role of education in the nations’ economy is of paramount importance. Matter of fact, a greater part of the nation’s well being and prosperity hinges on the education level of its citizens.
In this spread, an attempt shall be made to highlight the relationship between the various education fields and the industry sector and their contribution to one of the fundamental indicators of economic growth – GDP.
As at 2010, teacher training had the largest percentage in terms of enrolment for those over 25 years of age at 21.8% having increased by 3% since 1990 . Agriculture and fisheries which should ideally produce the bulk of graduates to join the industry had only 2.7% having decreased by 2.1% over the past 20 years.
Engineering faculties including mechanical, electrical and electronics and computer science collectively had 14.1% enrolment.
What is the rationale behind these figures?
One would expect that approximately, the numbers in each industry sector would correspond to those of graduates produced. That is not the case. For instance, of the entire national labour force, some 66.7%  were in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors while tertiary institutions were only able to produce less than 3% graduates with the proportion declining over the last two decades. It makes sense that the 76.9% of those in this sector are informal.
With the potential of employment in the agro sector being so high already, it follows that increasing the proportion of educated employees in this sector would invariably help the industry to increase its output.
It is the opinion of this author that workers with higher education will be more innovative at improving processes and practices in the sector. They will be abreast with industry best practices and standards. They will have broader knowledge base to draw from. They would be able to conduct the much needed research for solutions to suit the Zambian situation.
Until that is done, our agro output will not enjoy significant strides. Have we ever asked ourselves how the economy of Malawi thrives on tea, tobacco and fisheries? Let us learn from them – benchmarking would do. (cont’d………)
 2010 Census of Population National Analytical Report p31.
 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey Report 2006-2010 p33.