PRESIDENT Michael Sata has directed newly-appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Luxon Kazabu to initiate mechanisms that will strengthen animal husbandry to boost the livestock sector in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Sata has castigated the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) for politicking at the expense of addressing challenging problems such as cattle diseases in Southern Province, where the party was heavily represented.
Speaking at State House in Lusaka yesterday when he swore-in Mr Kazabu, Mr Sata said during campaigns for the September 2011 general elections, many unfounded allegations were levelled against the Patriotic Front (PF), especially in Southern and Western provinces.
He said Southern Province, which was being controlled by UPND, had been faced with livestock diseases but sadly, the opposition never talked about the issue.
"The whole Southern Province is controlled by UPND. They never talk about the way the animals are perishing and you (Mr Kazabu) are going to the Ministry of Agriculture specifically for animal husbandry," he said.
Mr Sata said at the time when Alexander Chikwanda was Minister of Agriculture under the UNIP government, Zambia used to import beef, a move which prompted the government to set up an animal husbandry unit at the ministry.
"I want you to go and build it up. I want you Mr Minister of Agriculture (Emmanuel Chenda) to give him a vehicle, give him petrol and I will give him enough money to tour the entire Southern Province, the whole Western Province and the whole Eastern Province," he said.
Mr Sata said Zambia had a lot of potential in goat rearing and a ready market was there in the Middle East.
He urged Mr Kazabu to take an inventory of goats available so that the first consignment of exports could be made.
He also urged Mr Kazabu to work hand in hand with Agriculture and Livestock Permanent Secretary, David Shamulenge, a veterinary doctor, to boost the livestock sector.
He said a number of stakeholders were ready to help the Government combat animal diseases.