ZAMBIA NATIONAL FARMERS’ UNION
PRESS STATEMENT ON INTENDED GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
ON PROBLEMS BEING EXPERIENCED BY ZESCO
The Zambia National Farmers’ Union is pleased to learn that Government intends to assist financially so that the ZESCO Power Rehabilitation Programme and building of New Generation plants is speeded up. The decision by Government is very wise and commendable because without adequate energy supply, if will be very difficult to sustain current investments and even attract more investments. In the case of agriculture, farmers are now wondering how far they should go with their level of investments without guaranteed power supply.
Farmers and Agribusiness do appreciate that demand of power has increases and outstripped power supply. This is a major concern which any responsible Government will need to intervene given the importance of energy to the economy and the entire population. Government should therefore be commended for thinking of assisting ZESCO to fund some of the projects. The background where there was very little investment in the power sector in the last 30 years is appreciated. We should however forget about the background and explain to the public the current status. What is important is for Government and ZESCO to concentrate on regularly updating the public on where we are in rectifying the past mistakes and to also constantly give assurance about the future energy supply. This information will help us a lot in planning our investments and our lives.
The energy situation in Zambia is real and the public debate should concentrate more on the way forward and not finger pointing. We repeat that what Government has decided to do is one of the positive biggest steps forward. A lot of this will change for example Wheat and other agricultural production will be negatively affected unless power supply is guaranteed. We should therefore concentrate on minimizing negative impacts and also ensuring that productive sectors are guaranteed with power supply.
The ZNFU will continuously engage ZESCO to ensure that food production is safeguarded.