The University of Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry Fisheries and Livestock to enhance research and development in the agricultural sector.
UNZA Vice Chancellor LUKE MUMBA says the MOU will enable the institution deliver improved services in research, policy and programme development in collaboration with the two ministries.
Professor MUMBA says while UNZA collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries in the past through the Schools of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, there has been no formal partnership.
The Vice Chancellor says the signing of the MOU will result in the two ministries providing specific activities and budgets to UNZA to enable them carry out collaborative research programmes.
“As you are aware, the University of Zambia has invested in maintaining a cadre of highly trained and experienced staff who are ready to be put to the best use by the country. Therefore, I call upon the whole agriculture sector to partner with us through our institution” Professor Mumba said.
He assured the ministries of UNZA’s commitment to strengthen linkages between the academia and the industry as it resonates with their strategic plan for the period 2018 to 2022.
Professor was speaking at Mulungushi House during the signing ceremony between UNZA and the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries and Livestock.
Meanwhile Fisheries and Livestock Permanent Secretary BENSON MWENYA says the signing of the MOU will enhance production and productivity in the fisheries and livestock sub sector.
Dr. MWENYA says through joint research programmes between UNZA and his ministry, capacity will be built in the breeding centers and regional laboratories in the ministry to improve livestock breeds and controlling of diseases.
“We have been working in the background with the University of Zambia in the field of research, but with the signing of this MOU, we hope to partner more with UNZA to address the challenges facing the sector through collaborative research and development” Dr Mwenya noted
And Ministry of Agriculture Acting Permanent Secretary CECILIA KAMANGA has urged the University of Zambia to produce graduates who are already made to perform in the industry.
Ms. KAMANGA says UNZA must churn out graduates who can establish their own agriculture small and medium enterprise and also contribute to the green economy of the country.
She says the formalization of the MOU will contribute to the development of the agriculture sector through academic excellence.
“This partnership will greatly contribute to the fulfilment of government’s mandate of the agriculture sector national goals of food and national security, employment creation, economic diversification and economic growth” Ms. Kamanga adds.