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Wednesday, 02 June 2010

EPAs threaten diversification – CSPR

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) executive director Patrick Mucheleka says the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) threaten the diversification of Zambia’s economy from mining to other sectors including agriculture, as the country will not be able to compete evenly with the European Union (EU) products.Mucheleka yesterday said Zambia mainly relies on the export of minerals, therefore its diversification efforts especially in the agricultural sector stand threatened by the EPAs.“The implication of the EPAs especially on agriculture which remains the major activity of the people is that our farmers cannot evenly compete with the farmers from the EU who are heavily subsidised,” he said. Mucheleka explained that on average, the EU spends over 365 billion Euros per year on farm subsidies under the EU Common Agricultural Policy.He further explained that in the case of Zambia, where there was no form of major support to make them more competitive, the situation created was a clear elimination of Zambian farmers from being beneficiaries in any meaningful way and this would only go towards the perpetuation of high levels of poverty.

Source: The Post Zambia