Zambia has just been commemorating Farmer’s Day, which is of great importance to the agriculture sector and economy at large. We take stock of the gains made in promoting diversification of the economy. Agriculture has clearly emerged as the Government’s torch bearer and sector of choice to push Zambia’s economic diversification programme for obvious reasons and the 2018 Budget bears proof of this. It links well with the 7NDP whose aspirations are centred on a diversified and export-oriented agriculture sector.
In the 2017 Budget Address, Government made strong commitments to promote diversification and wealth creation in many sectors of the economy. This included the promotion of value addition in the forestry sector with a proposal to introduce specific rates on the export of unprocessed and semi-processed timber products at the rate of K10 per kg and K5 per kg respectively. Other measures included support to economic diversification and promoting capital investment by increasing the capital allowance for plant, equipment and machinery used in farming and agro-processing to 100 percent from 50 percent.