Zambian artist and Global Citizen ambassador Clementine Mulenga alias Cleo has urged Zambians to become global citizens and contribute towards ending poverty.

Meanwhile, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations resident representative George Okech says Zambia still falls below the agreed threshold to allocate 10 per cent of its budget towards the agriculture sector set under the Maputo Declaration.

Speaking during the commemoration of the World Food Day whose theme was “Our actions are our future” organised by the Global Citizen in conjunction with Zambia Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (CSO- SUN Alliance), Mulenga said increased malnutrition among children in the country was worrying and urged citizens to sign up as global citizens in order to help in reducing poverty in the world.

“Being a Global Citizen ambassador here in Zambia means a lot to me, especially that I am finding myself in a position where I can actively play a role towards bringing an end to poverty in our country, in Africa and the world over. This is something that brings people from all over to stand for one cause; to call on leaders and urge them to pledge so much more toward helping us in ending extreme poverty by 2030. Become a Global Citizen and help us change the future of these young people, children who are actually suffering. It is very depressing to actually see that hungry children are not getting the food they need. You know there is abnormal growth, children are malnourished and that breaks my heart,” said Mulenga.

And CSO- SUN Alliance country coordinator Mathews Mhuru said there was a lot to be done to reduce poverty levels in the country.

“There is a lot government need to do and may I suggest that we make reforms to ensure that our food systems and food protection is secured and safeguarded. It unfortunate that we have not seen any political action because I think it takes political action to bring about transformation in the way we are putting policies that would protect food production in the country,” said Mhuru.

Meanwhile, Okech said it would be difficult for Zambia to reach sustainable agriculture productivity because it had failed to allocate enough funds towards that.

“Within Africa, there was declaration, the Maputo Declaration, which was attended by the Heads of State and we agreed that in order for us to improve the productivity in agriculture and in order to make agriculture more sustainable, the national government have to allocate, from the
national budget, 10 per cent should go into agriculture and that is not happening. There are only few countries doing it and Zambia is still low and has not managed that and it is going to be very difficult for Zambia to reach that level of sustainable agriculture productivity if we
do not commit to the agriculture sector,” said Okech.