The Zambia army has acquired 2000 hectares of land from chief Machiya of the Lamba speaking people in Mpongwe district.
According to a letter issued by army chief of corporative resettlement and estate brigadier general Charles Shapi to Mpongwe district council secretary Francis Nkhoma dated 17 March 2017, the land acquisition is in line with President Edgar Lungu’s directive for the army to venture into agriculture activities.
According to the correspondence, the army intends to cultivate 600 hectares of Maize, 300 hectares of vegetables, 1000 hectares of cattle ranching and 100 fish ponds.
The project is expected to commence this year and will focus on land clearance and preparation for maize cultivation for the next farming season.
The project will be managed by the Zambia army using skilled manpower and as well as external resources available.
The overall objective of the project is in line with government’s agriculture policy of increasing food production and diversification of the present farming system so as to attain sustainable food security and poverty reduction.
Specific objectives of the project include making the army self sustainable in food production, contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), contribute to the country’s national food security and create jobs for the locals.
“The farm has a lot of potential for the variety of farming activities because of its vast virgin land, good soil fertilizer, good rainfall and natural water for irrigation purposes” he said.