Thursday, May 30, 2024

Zambia’s peasant farmers could be made squatters on their own land-UN Expert

Share

Farmers rebagging their maize at Kamuswazi Satellite depot
FILE: Farmers rebagging their maize at Kamuswazi Satellite depot
Reuters Reports that Zambia’s smallholder farmers could be made squatters on their own land as the country opens up to farming multinationals in an effort to boost its economy, said a United Nations expert.

Hilal Elver, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, said Zambia’s ambition to develop its commercial farming sector to become “Southern Africa’s food basket” risks worsening extreme rural poverty, as farmers face eviction to make way.

Elver said she was alarmed that 40 percent of Zambian under fives have stunted growth due to malnutrition, despite the country emerging from crisis to “impressive” levels of economic growth.

Zambia’s economy has been depressed for years by low commodity prices, mine closures, rising unemployment, power shortages and soaring food prices but the World Bank predicts 4 percent growth this year.

“It is vital that development plans and policies take into account the true cost of industrial farming methods… as well as the social and economic impact on people, rather than focusing only on short term profitability and economic growth,” Elver said in a statement.

Sixty percent of Zambians are small-scale farmers, who make up many of the nation’s poorest people but produce 85 percent of its food, according to the U.N.

Elver said agricultural growth in Zambia over the last decade had focused on large businesses, leaving peasant farmers behind.

Around 85 percent of land is held under customary tenure, mostly in the hands of peasant farmers, with little legal protection from eviction, she said at the end of her first official visit to the country.

After eviction, many peasant farmers are forced to work in poor conditions on large industrial farms or are obliged to sell their crops at knock-down prices for export by monopoly-type multinationals who buy produce for export, she said.

Intensive commercial farming has also led to increased use of agro chemicals proven to damage children’s health and boosted rates of deforestation and environmental damage, she added.

SOURCE: Reuters (Reporting by Matthew Ponsford, Editing by Ros Russell from the Thomson Reuters Foundation)

34 COMMENTS

  1. Tell Chagwa and team who think Zambia can only be developed by foreigners. Zambians deserve better! Abash PF retrogressive policies!

    • The reporting is suggesting that this so much of a bad thing – no.

      Here is the thing : farmers are extinct, they perpetually need help. The diversion of help to others sectors of the economy is the modern way of leading an economy in this century.

      All first world countries have taken that blue print.

      This shouldn’t be blown out of proportion by UPND sympathisers.

      I just finished my PhD

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

    • South African Govt is trying (without any success) to reverse 400 years of land inequality, yet lungu & his PFools are fighting hard to auction the country to foreigners.

      We achieved being debt-free but PFools have fought hard to put us back into debt. 75% of our revenue wil soon be going to service chinese, IMF, world bank & Eurobond loans.

      Stup1dity at it’s worst.

    • South African Govt is trying (without any success) to reverse 400 years of land inequality, yet lungu & his PF00ls are fighting hard to auction the country to foreigners.

      We achieved being debt-free but PF00ls have fought hard to put us back into debt. 75% of our revenue will soon be going to service chinese, IMF, world bank & Eurobond loans. Then Govt will be forced to borrow even more & start defaulting & Kwacha will follow its brother, the Zim-dollar.

      Stup1dity at it’s worst.

    • @ 1.2 maloza,

      Look, don’t compare Zambians situation to South African one because the scenarios are different.

      South African situation emanated from whites had forcefully displaced local people and over-owned land, similar to the situation in Zimbabwe.

      In the Zambian case the government is giving out this land to foreign under the laws of Zambia, i.e. those who satisfy the stipulated conditions.

      That must be understood.

    • @ 3.4 Kgosi,

      Empower who with sift loans?

      It is not about lack of money or capital. It is about mindset.

      Are you aware that some of those same peasant farmers have been selling the fertizer they get under fertilizer support program instead of farming?

      Are you aware that some Zambian small scale business have been given contracts by government tondo works but on receiving down payments for mobilization they have squandered the money and abandoned the projects.

      Some Zambians have run away with government money, and have even left the country up getting down payments for contracts.

      So, the issue is not about a lack of capital, money or Access to loans but mindset.

  2. The UN expert is jealous and he is no doubt UPND supporter. We have plant of land which has been idol for years.

    The UN expert doesn’t know anything about zambia and he/she is happy to see the country remain poor.

    It’s very important to open up land for many developers to help build the economy of the country and ultimately beautify it.

    Stop being jealous with your fake expertise and concentrate on how to get out HH before bedbugs finish him.

    His lawyers by the way seems not to differentiate that a person working for the government and is on duty, that means if you insult that person, you have insulted the government.

    Unless HH lawyers get that, their are going to loose the case. Treason is coming up soon. I will be there too.

    • @Dj Deno: This is just an observation from an independent UN Observor. It’s up to our Govt to listen or to ignore. Why throw tantrums? Most countries in the Southern Region are trying to empower their citizens by according them land and we are trying to do the exact opposite. Condemn with reason not just condemning because you think anyone advising or critising the Mighty PF supports HH/ UPND. Whatever we do, always remember that there is a future generation of Zambians who will require land, jobs and livelihood.

    • Kgosi! Your name suggest that you are not Zambian.

      Use ulukasu nesembe has failed to help zambia since independence.

      I’m sure grant father together with your father are still living in poverty despite the huge land they have.

      We only 13 million and the land we have is far two big for a simple Zambian like your.

      This is the reason why people say HH is rich because he has cows that he bought using stolen man from privatization of our mines.

      Stolen money is sweet and that is the reason why he wants to come back to take the little that remains.

      If you are a true Zambian, educated like me, u will never support HH. I can support any other person as president of UPND but not HH. The man is a thieve and I’m happy he is paying for his sins.

      Those who have stolen…

    • Ba Dj Deno

      Ati “We have plant of land which has been idol..”

      Hehehehehe. But some kaponyas, awemwe.

    • Ba Dj Deno: I’m a Zambian like you sir, never mind the name. Some things are National issues which affect everyone regardless of their political affiliation.
      The population of Zambia will not be 13 Million forever, I thought you being very educated, will understand this simple logic. Why not empower the poor peasant farmers with soft affordable flexible loans to improve their welfare and their farms instead of bringing Foreign Investors who borrow affordable loans from their countries and whatever money they make in Zambia is externalized to their countries of origin? The only benefit we will get as Zambians is a few of our poor relatives being employed as laborers on these farms. Travel the world and see for yourself how other Govts are empowering their farmers.

  3. What is the meaning of the word “Special Rapporteur”. The statement “Elver said she was alarmed that 40 percent of Zambian under fives have stunted growth due to malnutrition”. This is not true cos HH who is under five has no malnutrition and because he is a chairman not president cos. we only have one president in zambia ECL of one tribal party, we believe the statistical data is wrong

  4. I am a peasant farmer in Kabangwe. We had no Zesco power the whole day yesterday with Zesco citing maintenance, today I have called Zesco and I am told there is maintenance works. How can we have two days of maintenance, I risk loosing all my chickens please. Don’t bring load shedding indirectly please

    • I hope you lose your chickens. Why did you study so you dont depend on the Government helping you?

      I wish nothing good for you at all

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

  5. And this “expert” has learnt so much from her “first official visit” to Zambia. Reminds of that female expert from UK who was made to withdraw her false claims that Zambians live among baboons.

    Okay, maybe the UN “expert” donkey is referring to HH country where we know that he has taken over all the land from peasants for his cattle and employed them as cheap labour under poor conditions. There is no expertise here, Ms UN “expert”, we know it and you were probably given that information by the affected peasants anyway.

  6. @3 DJ Deno, I agree with you on everything. Just to add that bed bugs are a natural organic remedy to correct HH in that correction facility. Very effective too.

  7. Sad that we have this many immature citizens unable to understand the alarm being raised by the UN Expert. This type of citizens do not deserve to be voters because their mental development is far from maturity!

  8. UNDER PF THE POOR GET POORER WHILE THE RICH PF OFFICIALS GET RICHER. MEANWHILE USED MONKEYS LIKE TERRIBLE WILL CONTINUE SUPPORTING PF EVEN WHEN HIS OWN RELATIVES ARE GOING WITHOUT FOOD . WE CALL THAT PRIDE OF A F0OI

  9. Nonsense! Zambia is a big country with lots of untouched land why would the government Target land already owned? UN expert my blood foot!

  10. Its very true that as mush encourage investment in the agro sector we should also consider people who are leaving in these areas as people and potential commercial farmers of tomorrow and not treating our fellow zambians like pigs in their on country. Please all those in government consider as humans. I love you all i only dont like your attitude towards us.

  11. The population of Zambia is 17,000,000 and not 13,000,000 any more .
    Land must not just be auctioned to foreigners who means no good, the one who owns the land is the one who rules.
    If you give out the land , those foreigners who will have the land Will be your colonizers either you like or not.
    Zambians need to be sensible to what they decide.
    Not making decisions without thinking of the future.

  12. Looks like HH is getting forgotten slowly. The only time people remember him is when he appears in court. Even UPNDonkeys, it seems. Even GBM issues a statement once in 30 days, clearly pretending.

  13. DJ Deno! think twice the UN observer has just said the Truth.It’s like in our county farmers have no one to speak for them .Exporting mealie meal and maize at high prices while threatening peasant farmers not to do so.

  14. @ 3.4 Kgosi,

    Empower who with sift loans?

    It is not about lack of money or capital. It is about mindset.

    Are you aware that some of those same peasant farmers have been selling the fertizer they get under fertilizer support program instead of farming?

    Are you aware that some Zambian small scale business have been given contracts by government tondo works but on receiving down payments for mobilization they have squandered the money and abandoned the projects.

    Some Zambians have run away with government money, and have even left the country up getting down payments for contracts.

    So, the issue is not about a lack of capital, money or Access to loans but mindset.

  15. This why paramount chitimukulu wrote an article about traditional land and why we Bembas we will not give land for foreigners because this land is God given and giving to the foreigners is a worst form of betrayal of our children and their children. Kanyanta Manga articulated nice with rich points about the customary land.
    Lungu was even asking for land to give to developer and investors. One example look at Garoon he had land from Lusaka international airport to chisamba. Is this not abnormal? The Ruphia Banda government through Meadow bought some land from Garoon and started selling at higher price to Zambians and other foreigners. Look at Kamwala it’s Indians only in Madras . Is this what we want ?no

  16. What is so ‘independent’ about the United Nations? They are created by the same individuals who own ExxonMobil, Chevron and JPMorgan Chase.

    PBS American Experience, “Biography: David and Nelson Rockefeller”:

    In late 1946, when New York had seemed to be out of the running as the headquarters for the United Nations, Nelson had stepped in at the 11th hour, with the help of his brother David, to ensure that the new world organization made its home in the city — by arranging for the purchase of the East River site with $8.5 million of their father’s money.

  17. These arguments are just back and forth depending on which UN expert assesses and writes their finding. But a better more considered, that is one that takes in past history and current status is required for balance. Firstly, on the under fives that have stunted growth due to malnutrition, are more likely to be because of poor diet than the lack of food.

    The truth is that Zambians need to eat better than depend on the staple diet of Maize meal which is chosen because it is cheap and convenient. A bag of Maize meal and the husband has shopped for the month! Also please do take in consideration the Health of the families. Medical issues also lead to malnutrition because the body becomes unable to process food adequately. I think that is the main reason. Access to Medical care…

    • Access to Medical care has not been good for the poor in Zambia. More important is that the parents themselves will have had stunted growth during the ’70’s when Zambia was in severe economic problems before the international debt to IMF and International Bank took all the countries GDP. Mothers with Stunted growth are not able to process nutrition well during gestation and this affects the growth of the new born.

  18. Also, how our Maize ís treated can make it healthier. Aztec Indiana found that adding Lime during preparation adds to the nutrition. Check out, :[ ‘Nixtamalized maize has several benefits over unprocessed grain: it is more easily ground; its nutritional value is increased; flavor and aroma are improved; and mycotoxins are reduced. Lime and ash are highly alkaline: the alkalinity helps the dissolution of hemicellulose, the major glue-like component of the maize cell walls, and loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the maize. Some of the corn oil is broken down into emulsifying agents (monoglycerides and diglycerides), while bonding of the maize proteins to each other is also facilitated. The divalent calcium in lime acts as a cross-linking agent for protein and polysaccharide…

    • Nixtamalized maize has several benefits over unprocessed grain: The divalent calcium in lime acts as a cross-linking agent for protein and polysaccharide acidic side chains.[2] As a result, while cornmeal made from untreated ground maize is unable by itself to form a dough on addition of water, the chemical changes in masa allow dough formation.

      It was NOTED that unless Nixtamalised, Maize meal can actually cause malnutrition!

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site - LusakaTimes.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading