Agriculture and Livestock Minister Given Lubinda says the Patriotic Front government is in a hurry to grow the agriculture sector.
Mr Lubinda was speaking in Chongwe today when he officiated at the launch of the future farm project by AGCO in collaboration with other partners which see agricultural players bringing their respective expertise together to develop a sustainable food production system to increase farm output by using Africa’s agricultural resources more effectively.
Mr. Lubinda says government believes agriculture can only grow if the private sector is given the opportunity to participate fully in the sector and is thus promoting a liberal economy where individuals can participate freely.
He says government has also maintained an open door policy were it is willing to listen and take risks for the sake of creating an enabling environment for investment and private sector growth.
Mr Lubinda has called on players in the agriculture sector to do away with personal egos by working with other stakeholders.
He says government believes that even the smallest producers have the role to play in growing the agriculture sector.
Mr. Lubinda adds that government stands ready to partner with anyone in growing the agriculture sector.
And AGCO senior vice president and general manager Rob Smith says Africa holds the key to meeting global agricultural challenges if the continent continues to develop a vision for agriculture that combines the expertise of the private industry sector, the support of governments and the knowledge of local communities.
Dr. Smith says the future farm project will help to empower local communities to develop a sustainable food production system to increase farm productivity by implementing modern farming techniques.
And Agriculture and Livestock Minister Given Lubinda has appealed to farmers not to panic over the yet to be announced maize flow price for this year’s marketing season.
Mr. Lubinda has told QFM News in an interview that farmers should instead take advantage of the anticipated shortfall in maize supply in the sub region to make profit.
He explains that if he announces the maize floor price now, this is likely to dampen the price of maize at a time when there is a projected shortfall in maize production in the sub region.
Mr. Lubinda has however assured farmers that the Food Reserve Agency will buy maize from farmers at fair price enough in order to motivate them.