The Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has called for urgent need to formalise the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) sub-sector, with potential to contribute to job creation and expand the growth of the economy.
This will assist in enhancing the gains from the sector and also ensuring that it is sustainable in the long term.
This according to Executive Director, Sydney Mwamba in a statement on the State of the Economy.
Mwamba said the mining sector had huge potential in ASM sub-sector, which could contribute to job creation as well as expand the growth of the economy through income, revenue, and value addition.
However, he observed, there were various challenges within the subsector, such as informality, inadequate access to finance, limited technical skills, and lack of geological information, among others, that needed to be resolved to maximise the gains from the sector.
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“To address these challenges, the government needs to work towards formalizing the ASM subsector, providing access to finance, training on technical skills, and geological information.
“This will go a long way in enhancing the gains from the sector and also ensuring that it is sustainable in the long term,” he said.
Mwamba also said to sustain and increase the growth rate of the economy, there was need to exploit and maximise the potential of the key sectors, especially agriculture.
He explained that the potential of the agricultural sector was yet to be fully exploited, and that there were increased opportunities for innovation, job creation, value addition and foreign exchange inflows.
To boost the sector’s performance, Mwamba said, targeting incentives to existing small and medium farmers, such as irrigation, extension services, and processing for value addition, was crucial, as well as helping emergent farmers attain commercial status.
“Moreover, diversification in the sector by exploring markets for high-value crops such as cashew nuts, groundnuts, paprika, sorghum, wheat, cotton, and soybeans, among others, remains critical.
“The focus should also be on reducing post-harvest losses, improving supply chain management, and enhancing market access for smallholder farmers,” he said.
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