Government has assured farmers that measures have been put in place to tackle any possible outbreak of army worms and red locusts during the 2017/2018 farming season.
Central Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe says farmers should plant more crops as government will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to secure the grain, should there be any outbreak of army worms and red locusts.
Mr Kabwe says funds have since been set aside as part of the preparedness plan to timely and effectively respond to any possible outbreak of the crop eating insects.
ZANIS reports that the PS said this during the official launch of the operations of the One Acre Fund in Chibombo district.
Mr Kabwe recalled that farmers had early this year lost a lot of maize crop to army worms which invaded their fields adding that government does not want a similar situation to happen this farming season.
And Mr Kabwe revealed that the authority has increased its support to the agriculture sector as one way of diversifying the economy.
He said government has resolved to continue providing necessary support to the farmers in the country, in order to exploit the economic potentials and benefits in the agriculture sector.
“We will continue empowering the farmers in their crop farming, livestock farming, and fish farming, because we know that this is of high value,” he said.
Mr Kabwe said government has come up with deliberate policies and interventions aimed at promoting mechanization in the agriculture sector for increased productivity.
He added that one such intervention is promoting the use of tractors for cultivation by applying tax policies that ensure prices of agricultural equipment are affordable to as many small scale farmers as possible.
And speaking earlier, One Acre Fund Africa Policy Director Collin Christensen said his organization will continue partnering with government towards supporting small scale farmers in the country.
Mr Christensen said One Acre Fund supports small holder farmers in Africa by providing them with farm inputs on credit.
Meanwhile, Chibombo District Commissioner Barnabas Musopelo urged farmers in the district to take advantage of the presence of One Acre Fund in the area by getting inputs on credit to increase their agricultural yields.
Mr Musopelo also urged farmers who have benefited inputs from One Acre Fund to ensure that they repay their loans on time, in order for others to benefit from the cause.
Over 7,000 small scale farmers in Chibombo, Chisamba, and Kapiri-Mposhi districts are expected to get loans in form of farm inputs from One Acre Fund during the 2017/2018 farming season.