The Zambia Editor Network ( ZEN ) called on the media fraternity to carry out investigative stories on Farm blocks around the country.

ZEN Chairperson Gershom Musonda says his organisation also wants government to pay attention to other issues recently raised by the Special Rapporteur Hilal Elver of some small-scale farmers being forced to sell their animals in order to pay for their children to go to school, children working to support families, inadequate nutrition, deforestation and land pollution in agriculture.

Mr. Musonda said this in a statement to ZANIS in Lusaka, last evenning.

This was in reaction to United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, who during her recent 10-day visit stated that Zambia’s push to turn commercial large-scale agricultural into a driving engine of the economy may lead to most Zambians becoming landless.

Ms. Elver said, in a situation where the protection of access to land is weak, risks are high in pushing small-holder farmers and peasants off their land and out of production with severe impacts on the people’s right to food.

However , Mr Musonda has challenged the media in the country to carry out investigative stories on the matter to the attention of the authorities and other stakeholders.

” We call upon the media to do more investigative stories on Farm Blocks, the ATP, Provincial Animal Breeding Centres, Acquaculture projects and other initiatives aimed at growing and diversifying Zambia’s agricultural sector, so that stakeholders can appreciate and support them.

When this is done, he said, negative statements like the one issued by Ms Elver, will definitely be avoided.

The ZEN chairperson said negative stories on land and forcible displacement of the poor in other countries have led to crises and revolts.

Mr Musonda says his organisation also wants government to pay attention to other issues raised by the Special Rapporteur of some small-scale farmers being forced to sell their animals in order to pay for their children to go to school, children working to support families, inadequate nutrition, deforestation and land pollution in agriculture.

The UN representative is on record during her recent 10-day visit as having stated that Zambia’s push to turn commercial large-scale agricultural into a driving engine of the economy, in a situation where the protection of access to land is weak, can risk pushing small-holder farmers and peasants off their land.

She added that out of production with severe impacts on the people’s right to food.essence of farm blocks, ordinary farms and resettlement centres created by government is also to empower local people with land.

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