Dora Siliya
Dora Siliya
Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya has challenged agriculture researchers to provide scientific evidence that addresses economically produced yields of crops that are nutritious in order to achieve food security in the country.

Speaking during the Agricultural Productivity Programme for Southern Africa (APPSA) conference at Government Complex, Siliya said despite the increased production of crops as seen in the last farming seasons, food security has not been attained and the farmers have not made their intended profits from the crops they sold.

Siliya said production of crops is not a problem but rather the issue is with ensuring that farmers grow crops that economically beneficial to the health of the consumers in the country.

“Despite the increased production of crops as seen in the last farming seasons, food security has not been attained and the farmers have not made their intended profits from the crops they sold” Siliya said

Speaking at the same event, Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Namukolo Mukutu says the Soil is the country is the cornerstone of farming hence, there is need to study the soil in order to promote efficiency.

Mukutu said addressing issues that affect the soil such as acidic soils will promote the yield of healthy crops and cereals for consumption.

“Addressing issues that affect the soil such as acidic soils will promote the yield of healthy crops and cereals for consumption” Mukutu said

And Zambia Research Institute Director Moses Mwale has expressed delight at the positive response of the Civil Society Organizations and research institutes present at this event.

Mwale said research should not just be conducted for the sake of it but rather researchers should be in a position to share their research finding with a wider audience for a maximum impact.

“Research should not just be conducted for sake of it but rather researchers should be in a position to share their research finding with a wider audience for a maximum impact” Mwale said

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5 COMMENTS

  1. There is so much research information at institutions like Mount Makulu in existence for more than 55 years. The problem is lack of linkages within government structures to ensure the information is disseminated to those that need it and that peasants are taught. Those high-level meetings must translate into workable implementation projects for the farmers some of whom have never even attended a single meeting on these topics.

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  2. R&D in the Agriculture sector in Zambia is suffering due to the disconnect between Research and Extension. Researchers do research to get the PhDs (like Mushota), but the research has no practical application to the majority of farmers. There is need for these too arms to work together in research and delivery teams in order to provide practical and workable solutions.

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    • The issue here is will government will power to row out policy capturing Agriculture Innovation Systems (AIS), which Dora should be aware of at MoA. With AIS, lies the pillars of agriculture, these being the Advisory Services, Research Systems, Extension Services and Education. These are the pillars of Agriculture and should be entirely linked to and from. The linkages do not end there though, as according to Hall et al. (2006:25), AIS goes further to influence institutions (such as companies, public research institutes and governmental entities) and infrastructures on learning and innovation. (—cont)

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    • (—cont) … AIS’s explicit focus to include all relevant organizations beyond agricultural research and extension systems is what engenders agriculture development and overcomes the challenges that Dora and colleagues are lamenting because it is through AIS that governments provide strategic guidance, implement policies and regulations, provide financial support to researchers and advisors in public and private organisations, including providing research infrastructure such as databases, laboratories and information and communication technologies. (END)

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