Barrick Lumwana Mining Company has counselled smallholder farmers in its catchment area to adopt good agriculture practices that prevent contamination of agricultural products at production and distribution levels.
Company Sustainability manager, Brenda Tambatamba said the prevention of agricultural products from being contaminated by harmful organisms and chemicals is important to farmers because it helps in protecting farm business from collapsing as well as prevent the outbreak of diseases.
Ms Tambatamba said smallholder farmers as food growers should therefore poses knowledge in potential food safety hazards if they are to prevent their produce from being contaminated with harmful microbes and chemicals.
She was speaking when she officiated at the close of the first session for a one week training workshop for 90 smallholder farmers which started on Monday last week in Solwezi.
“Good Agricultural practices are also about protecting your business .They are not only prevent the public from illness but they also protects your farm business from economic consequences of food contamination which render your business moribund” Ms Tambatamba.
Earlier Food Organisation Support Program FOSUP Executive Director, Michael Muleba called on farmers to ensure they are consistent in supplying quality and safe products to the market.
“You need to be more concerned with the consistency, quality and safe product and not to concentrate on profit” Mr Muleba.
He also urged the farmers to reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens on the agricultural production by applying the knowledge acquired from the training.
And Speaking when she gave a vote of thanks one of the participants, Namwinga Ngoza thanked Lumwana mining company for organising the training workshop for the farmers.
Ms Ngoza pledged that smallholder farmers will do their best in order to improve the standard of their agricultural products as required by All Terrain Services-catering (ATS) and other chain stores.
“We salute Barrick for giving us knowledge which will enable us compete with big suppliers within the province and beyond. To ATS we pledge to do our best in our quest to improve our lives and meet the standards as per your standards” Ms.Ngoza.
The trained farmers, extension officers, Small Agro dealers, Farm business advisors from senior chief Mukumbi, chief Matebo and Mumena’s chiefdom have since been awarded certificates by Lumwana mining company.