UPND president Hakainde Hichilema interacts with marketeers in Marapodi township
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema interacts with marketeers in Marapodi township

Opposition UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has accused the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Government of of giving very little attention to farmers.

In a statement released to the media today, Mr Hichilema said that despite the large number of Zambians engaged in agriculture sector and the importance of the work of farmers in not just providing food security, but also helping to keep food prices down, the agricultural sector has received little attention from the PF Government.

Below is the full statement

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

Supporting our farmers

As we undertake our party mobilisation activities across the country we are keeping our eyes firmly on the most important issues. Our people continue to push for greater support of farmers and agricultural activities in the country. Despite the large number of Zambians engaged in this sector and the importance of the work of farmers in not just providing food security, but also helping to keep food prices down, it receives little attention from the PF Government.

While we cannot blame the El Nino or such events on the PF, we can and should hold the Government to account for what they are, or are not, doing to help farmers through the drought and uncertain period. Suffice to mention that close to 40% of fresh water in Southern Africa is in Zambia and this can be utilized for irrigation. There is no reason why we always have to wait for the rain season to farm.

We continue to call for a bigger vision for the farming sector and in particular direct support for agribusiness and value-addition industries. These are essential for creating sustainable jobs and helping keep food prices down.

Government must help create an environment in which such ventures can start up, grow and flourish. This means making it easier and quicker to set up a business, supporting relevant knowledge transfer and skills training initiatives and marketing the opportunities to companies looking for suppliers, both within Zambia and beyond.

In the UPND we remain excited about the potential for agribusiness that can play a major part in uplifting the prosperity of our nation, as well as for each farmer and their dependents. The window of opportunity is there but we must grasp hold of it quickly and decisively.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President

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29 COMMENTS

  1. HH is very true on this one. Very little attention has been given to Agriculture. One would wonder how a caring govt can keep on reducing the price of Verve and Jameson while the price of agricultural inputs keep on sky rocketing.E.g Fertilizer has been increased from K130 to K490 per bag. Please Country men & women these are the questions we need to be asking our leaders to explain the rationale behind such abnormal increments before giving them our votes not fye ati pabwato!!!!! pabwato!!!!! (Which Boat) and on the other side ati Aleisa!!!!! Aleisa (Where). We need a focused and visionary leadership this time around, not just slogans that does not mean anything

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    • By election time hunger will strike the f00lish Zambians who expect to be fed by lungu in exchange for votes.

      Due to the high cost of fertilizer, most Zambians should brace themselves for even higher prices of mealimeal, because no farmer will sell their maize for a song when fertilizer has increased almost 3 fold(by 277%)

      So people should expect mealimeal to be increased by 277% as well; thats an from K100 to K377 a 25kg of mealimeal, unless PF finds the K300 to subsidize the millers, all the poor will pay over K400 per bag of maize meal.

      This is just my speculation based on the figures presented in the article.

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  2. HH is correct. Problem is Edgar has no vision…may explain why ZESCO is load shedding us daily…but seriously, the effects of mismanagement in the Agric sector are yet to manifest. If people in a Israel , in a desert can use drip irrigation to produce abundant food even for export why is PF failing to do the obvious? No leadership…

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  3. I agree with HH but the efforts should be collective from Government, Lending Institutions and Zambians themselves. The lazy attitude by most Zambians towards dirty jobs like farming and production in general makes us less competitive in the Farming Industry. The fact that almost all Zambian banks would rather lend money to a white farmer than an a local black Zambian is something that all parties need to look into. For instance I would expect to see a Farmers Representative Organisation to champion their plight with banks and government. There have to be efforts from either angle and expecting everything from the government is always the wrong idea. We have to be in this together.

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  4. To take this idea further, this Farmers Representative Organization can start championing the cause of those peasant farmers that consistently produce something no matter the difficulties. These are the ones that can be given loans because there have a history of hard work and can easily repay their loans. Once their colleagues see the benefits of hard work, they too can change their attitude and we can have a repo effect in the country.

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  5. To those who are myopic and tend to support this vuvuvela anyhow, I want to remind you that you so called “economic” manager is not truthful and sincere in what he says.
    It’s not too long ago when this same man called HH opposed to President Lungu’s initiative to find and offer land to some of the miners who lost employment recently. HH categorically said that people on the mines do not anything about farming and this left a lot of people very surprised and wondering. Now that he has seen that the challenges in the miningbsectorbare real, he wants to come out and pretend he can again cheat Zambians.
    Another reminder to blind supporters of HH is this, is he not the one and his minority party that have been against the road improvement by the PF Government? How then in the absence…

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    • @UFO; For those of us who are neutral, its quite clear you have totally missed the point HH is putting across. Farming requires training and capital not just a piece of land (eg retrenched miners). There is no need to hate HH or his supporters who have freedom of choice, just like you have freedom of choice to support PF. Just enjoy the benefits of being a PF cadre and stop demeaning others with divergent views.

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  6. Contact
    How then in the absence of good road network does a farmer transport or deliver his produce to the market?
    I really pity those who support HH because the man is a big danger not only to himself but to those he has hipnotised.

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  7. I think HH and GBM need counsel bcos balapena if not handled well.Am just frm reading a post from GBM acusing ECL of rigging election even before ballots and final register is produced then before I could finish another one here is showing off how a cry baby can be.Do these characters sleep over ECL.

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  8. Q1. How many Press Statements does HH issue per week?
    Q2. What impact do these have on voters?
    Q3. When was the last time HH offered a solution to problems being faced by Zambians rather than just condemn

    Total marks: 20

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    • 20 marks out of what, 20? If that’s the case 100% pass. I would not expect less from HH.

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  9. I think it is high time GBM and HH grew up.I feel sorry for there kids bcos if these where my parents I would be very embarrassed bcos even a five year would behave better than this.Year in year out HH has and will always be a cry baby.Is this the type of person we want in state house sure no solutions since he entered politics.Always faulty finding and blaming people.Awe kwena kuleni mwe twanaka nenu

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  10. One thing which UPND supporters should know is that there party is not ready to form govt period.1 which party in the world all over has two vice president’s polygamists mentality 2 which party in the world all over only talks about another party everytime they open there mouth ? UPND, and why? they have no plans of there own. 3 which party has no respect for other members in the party UPND how can a party have the president issue statements on every isue when he has secretaries on the party and information team

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  11. HH: “While we cannot blame El Niño or such events on the PF…”

    Am I reading this statement the correct way round, I ask myself? Did I read it right? I cannot believe that this could be HH talking! And there is nowhere where he boasts about the famed “economic manager” process, or his personal exploits in business, just yesterday he was insulting Lungu for being a humble peasant instead of a successful businessman. HH statement does not even mention or ask people to vote for uPMD. Suddenly now HH admits and agrees that the power load shedding was caused by shortage of rain and not by the PF. Uhhmmm, has HH read the writing on the wall? This is totally uncharacteristic of HH, EVEN HIS CADRES MUST BE SHELL SHOCKED! I can only conclude that this is a fake statement until I see a few…

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  12. Uhhmmm, has HH read the writing on the wall? This is totally uncharacteristic of HH, EVEN HIS CADRES MUST BE SHELL SHOCKED! I can only conclude that this is a fake statement until I see a few more sober and humble statements from HH.

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  13. In short what HH has addressed in his tale like value addition diversification is already happening in Zambia. The problem with hh is that he and his vice lives in south Africa. They are not connected with what is happening on the ground. Can this guy just step aside and let people with vision run upend. Maybe I was seeing these things happening in a different Zambia. Diasporians even if you like hh please take time to criticize him also. These leaders are cheats and manipulators. Believe them wholly at your peril. Ati ama die hards for hh Ifyabupubafye.

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    • Why? You do enough already!

      If I were you, however, I would be a little more technical in my criticism. For instance, I would stop making wild speculative statements that HH lives in SA. And sanitize my thinking of fragmented statements such as “value addition diversification is already happening in Zambia.” Such statements need to be qualified with falsefiable real life examples.

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  14. He has even stopped checking what is happening in the country and only concentrated on condemning.The issues that he has raised are already happening in the country but bcos is bitter and a saddest he can’t see them.

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    • What is happening in the country other than high cost of farming in puts and high cost of living.

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  15. @Dombwa, I read your stat with a sense of deep concern for our humble subsistence farmers:
    “Fertilizer has been increased from K130 to K490 per bag.” Hon Lubinda assured tha nation that no one will starve this year, and if need be, he said govt will import maize as easily as it had exported the same. I pray so……

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    • @Charles Zulu are you aware that govnt has increased payments given to farmers under the evoucher system by K700 to counter the increase of fertilizer from K130 to K490?

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  16. It is pertinent for Zambians to rediscover their country’s humanist heritage and draw from it in tackling the nation’s problems. In this respect, Zambians need to understand that the human being, not God should be at the center of any attempt at solving the country’s economic problems. Zambians need to realize that God will not save the Kwacha. No deity will rescue the economy of Zambia. No amount of prayer will get the country out of its difficult situation. Only Zambians will save the Kwacha through hard work, not prayers

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  17. All in all the agricultural sector is floating well considering overall economic climate. We mustn’t, just keep knocking things because we want votes. Demoralising citizens to make a personal gain( votes), is plain un-presidential like. A contending Presidential candidate must be on the side of the country.

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  18. The current crop of leaders have limited ideas and may be even desire to assist the rural population come out of poverty. For now small scale farmers with no capital are in trouble. Consider some farmer who sold 40 bags to FRA and only got K2400 for his work. This planting season this amount of money will not allow him/her to produce half of this amount at the current cost of farming inputs. That is the sad side of this at the moment.

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  19. I Need Help Am A Famer Needing Small Irrigation Set I Have Tryed To Contact Madam Nawakwi On Her Facebook Maybe To Benifet From Her Start Pack Program Wil Be Greatfull If Linked To Her My Number Is 0963895000

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  20. Are we reading the same article or is it so “genetically in born” (mysrip Augustine) in some people to oppose whatever HH says even with *****ic arguments.

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  21. Government must help create an environment in which such ventures can start up, grow and flourish. This means making it easier and quicker to set up a business, supporting relevant knowledge transfer and skills training initiatives and marketing the opportunities to companies looking for suppliers, both within Zambia and beyond.

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