President Edgar Lungu has encouraged citizens including those working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to work hard in order to help stimulate the country’s economy.
The President has cautioned that “working from home” is different from “staying at home”, and, therefore, citizens working from home must use the available ICT tools, to work hard rather than deciding to abandon work.
President Lungu observed that from last years’ experience, many citizens who were asked to work from home decided to stay at home and abandoned work.
He stated that abandoning work when allowed to work from home will not just negatively affect productivity but will negatively impact the county’s economy.
“Whether you are in the informal or formal sector and you have been made to work from home, work the way you would work at your place of work. Apply seriousness on what you do despite operating from home.
“Those who are positive with the coronavirus but are asymptomatic or are showing little symptoms must equally work hard from home and must not abandon the work they do. Do your normal chores, while observing the recommended health guidelines,” the President said.
Meanwhile, the Head of State has also encouraged people engaged in farming to ensure they visit their farms regularly, despite the surging cases of COVID-19, in order for the county to continue doing well in food production and security.
He noted that like all citizens, farmers need to observe the coronavirus health guidelines which include wearing masks, social distancing, hand sanitising, and steaming among others, but should not abandon their fields.
The President said he visited a farm recently where owners had not been to their field in fear of the COVID-19 pandemic and in their absence army worms attacked their produce.
He added that the World Bank’s Enabling Business of Agriculture (EBA19) Report, launched last Thursday, places Zambia third in Sub Saharan Africa, among the top countries that are encouraging the private sector to invest in agriculture.
The EBA 19 report assesses the laws and regulations impacting agribusiness Value chains and farmers in 101 countries. It ranks governments whether they make it easier or harder for farmers to operate their businesses, and identifies actionable reforms to remove obstacles for farmers seeking to grow their business of agriculture.
“My government has done very well in regulations relating to speedy supply of seeds, registering fertilizers, securing water, sustaining livestock and accessing finance, among other thematic successes, and hence scoring 63.73 from a possible 100, which is way above the regional average,” he said.
President Lungu added that “Therefore, this is a big score by Zambia as we are only behind South Africa and Kenya in Sub-Saharan Africa, and this is because of my administration’s performance in Agriculture. We can only push ourselves to be the best, but if we renege because of covid-19, agriculture production will drop and the consequences on the economy and our people will be dire,” the President says.
“Therefore, I want to encourage all households to work hard amidst the covid-19 pandemic and engage in some farming activity so that we end hunger and create capital for ourselves from the surplus that we produce,” said President Lungu.
This is according to a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka, by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe.