Ladies and gentlemen,
I am deeply honored to stand before you today as we gather at the Zambia National Food Systems Insaka organized by the Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB), in collaboration with our esteemed partners such as the Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT), Zambian Governance Foundation, Oxfam in Southern Africa, PELUM Zambia, Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN), Hivos, the National Food and Nutrition Commission and all of you, the dedicated stakeholders who have come together to discuss the future of Zambia's food systems.
The food system is not just an essential part of our economy; it is the bedrock of our nation's well-being. It sustains livelihoods, shapes our culture, and, most importantly, it is a fundamental human right. However, our food system faces unprecedented challenges today, from the impact of climate change to inequitable global trade relations that threaten its very stability. Moreover, the way our food system operates is a significant contributor to climate change itself.
Around the world, there is a consensus that we must transition to sustainable food systems. These systems are rooted in principles of agroecology, food sovereignty, and the right to food and a healthy environment for all. Such a transition requires integrated governance mechanisms at all levels, with the active participation of all stakeholders. However, Zambia currently lacks an overarching food system policy and the cohesive governance structures needed to guide this critical transition.
Despite this challenge, Zambia has committed itself to this just transition through national and international agreements. We understand that time is of the essence as we face the growing climate crisis and deteriorating public health. Our food system encompasses multiple actors and activities, and how well these components are governed affects everyone, from farmers and consumers to policymakers, businesses, and especially our vulnerable populations, including women, youth and children.
In recent months, we've witnessed significant efforts in critical policy areas that impact our food system, including the development of the 'Comprehensive Agriculture Transformation Support Program' (CATSP), climate finance regulation, Zambia’s aspirations to join the 1991 International Union for the Protection of new Plant Varieties (UPOV91), the review of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy and Zambia's commitment to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. These policies touch on issues such as intellectual property rights, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and harmonizing laws with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
As concerned stakeholders, we recognize the interconnected effects of these policy processes, which bring both positive and negative outcomes. We also see that certain stakeholders hold greater influence over policy outcomes, and, regrettably, private interests often take precedence over the public good. Therefore, it is crucial to reflect on how these policy changes affect our ability to transition to a just, healthy, and sustainable food system that operates within our planet's boundaries while respecting the cultural and socio-economic rights of all.
That is why ZAAB and our partners have come together to convene this Food Systems Indaba. Our primary objectives are clear:
- To unite all food system actors to interact, deliberate, and identify opportunities for building a resilient and just food system in Zambia.
- To develop actionable steps for all rights and responsibility holders to move toward a sustainable future.
- To focus on critical issues, including the need for an African (and Zambian) food policy, the future of agriculture production systems, seeds and seed-related laws and policies, and the rejection of UPOV membership and GMOs.
Our desired outcomes are equally clear:
- To establish discourse on addressing the drivers and consequences of the current unsustainable food system.
- To gain support from various food system actors for a 'GMO-free Zambia' and the recognition of Farmers' Rights.
- To secure buy-in and commitment from key stakeholders to a process of positive intervention for a just and resilient food system backed by a Zambian food policy.
In these two (2) days, we will engage in interactive sessions, hear expert presentations, listen to farmer testimonies, and collaborate in group work. We will brainstorm and envision what constitutes a just and sustainable Zambian food system.
This activity will contribute to ZAAB’s main activities including the No-to-UPOV91, No-to-GMOs, and the My Food is African Campaigns. Together, we can and will make a difference. Let us embark on this journey with unity, determination, and the shared vision of a just, sustainable, and resilient food system for all Zambians.
Thank you for your dedication, and I look forward to the fruitful discussions and actions that will emerge from this gathering.
Fr. Dr Gabriel Mapulanga, ZAAB Chair, Caritas Zambias Executive Director
PRESS RELEASE - 14th JULY, 2023
Caritas Zambia has learnt about the arrest of the 8-year-old boy of Matero East Township in Lusaka with dismay. It is so disheartening to see such things happening in this age and time when the country has so many laws that have been enacted to support the protection, promotion and fulfilment of children’s rights and wellbeing. Among these laws include; the Penal Code (Amendment) of 2022, the Children’s Code Act of 2022.
Download the entire Caritas Zambia Statement on Detention of 8-year old Lusaka Boy here: https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/Caritas-Zambia-Statement-on-Detention-of-8-year-old-Lusaka-Boy.pdf
PROTECTION FROM ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION
Caritas Internationalis - Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy
Caritas recognizes the right of children and vulnerable adults to protection, regardless of gender, race, culture and disability. Caritas recognizes the power dynamics inherent in working with children and vulnerable adults and the potential for abuse and exploitation by staff of people we work with.
Caritas is committed to creating and maintaining an environment which promotes its core values and prevents abuse and exploitation of all people. Caritas staff and associates are expected to uphold the dignity of all people with whom they come into contact by ensuring that their personal and professional conduct is of the highest standards at all times. They are equally expected to serve with integrity and promote the right relationships while taking their responsibilities.
Caritas recognizes the unique needs of children and vulnerable adults and, therefore, commits itself to creating and maintaining an environment that protects these individuals.
Download the entire Caritas Internationalis - Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy here: https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/Caritas-Internationalis-Children-and-Vulnerable-Adults-Safeguarding-Policy.pdf
The First Regional Conference on Knowledge Management for Change (KM4Change) will be held from June 13 to 15 June, 2023 in Lomé, Togo
A. PURPOSE OF THE CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE
The overall objective of the Conference is to climax the 2023 maiden edition of the KM4Change programme as another step in strengthening Knowledge Management in Caritas and improved production and productivity in the developing sector as a whole.
Participants will present their results, receive certificates as “Certified Knowledge Managers”, be inducted into the Africa KM4Change Community of Practice and network with the wider global KM Community.
Download the entire First Regional Conference on Knowledge Management for Change (KM4Change) - Programme here: https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/KM4CHANGE-Conference-2023-Program-EN.pdf
Zambia is endowed with abundant natural resources beyond just mineral wealth such as arable land, forests, wildlife, and water resources. Yet the country remains one of the world’s poorest. Over 50% of its 19.6 million people live in poverty and about 40% in extreme poverty. A post COVID-19 poverty assessment by the World Bank suggests that poverty has worsened since the pandemic with more people than before falling into extreme poverty. The population is very young, with over 50% falling below the age of 35. Regardless, youth unemployment is high and stands at 46% compared to general unemployment estimated at 39%.
Download the entire Repositioning Zambia’s Mining Tax Regime for the Energy Transition - Policy Brief, March 2023 here: https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/policy_briefs/Policy-Brief-Repostioning-Zambias-Mining-Fiscal-Regime.pdf
Caritas calls on Government to divulge all the pertinent details regarding the ZCCM-IH deal.
Download the entire Caritas Zambia Statement on the Non-disclosure of ZCCM-IH Deal here: https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/Caritas-Zambia-Statement-on-the-Non-disclosure-of-ZCCM-IH-Deal.pdf
Maize grain and mealie-meal are the most important food commodities and indicators of food security in Zambia. Caritas Zambia has been keenly following the unfolding of the current discourse on the shortage of the staple food commodity mealie-meal in some parts of the country where citizens were reported to be queuing to buy the commodity.
Download the entire CARITAS Zambia Statement on Mealie-Meal Shortage here: https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/CARITAS-Zambia-Statement-on-Mealie-Meal-Shortage.PDF
2022 has been quite an eventful year for Caritas Zambia and its partners. 2021 was undoubtedly a challenging year, coming from the pandemic and recovering from its effects but also building on its lessons and opportunities has been significant for the milestones we have run this year.
Download the entire CARITAS Zambia Bulletin 2022 2nd Edition here https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/CARITAS-Zambia-Bulletin-2022-2nd-Edition.pdf
Caritas Zambia and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) submission on Mines and Mineral Development Amendment bill N.A.B No 31 of 2022 to the Joint Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters Committee
Download the entire Mines & Mineral Development Amendment Bill N.A.B NO 31 of 2022 - Caritas Zambia & PWYPZ Submission to Parliament here https://caritaszambia.org/phocadownload/general/CARITAS-Zambia-and-Publish-What-You-Pay-Zambia-Submission-to-Parliament.pdf
- Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for The Sixth World Day of The Poor
- POLICY BRIEF: Localisation As A Response To Enhancing Resilience Of The Food Systems
- Zambian Traditional Seed & Food Festival
- 2023 Budget Address By Hon Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, To The National Assembly On 30th September 2022
- UPND's One Year in Government - CARITAS Zambia Review
- Declaration of the SADC PEOPLE’S SUMMIT - Kinshasa, 17 August, 2022
- Action for the Rights of Girls Project (ARGP) Brief Overview
- Caritas International Position Paper on 9th World Water Forum, 2022: “Water Security for Peace and Development”
- 9th World Water Forum, Dakar 2022. Water Security for Peace and Development. Beyond Commitments, What Should Be Done?
- GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA STATEMENT ON THE 2022 WORLD NGO DAY CELEBRATIONS