President EdgarLungu being shown some soya beans by SEEDCO Head of marketing Brian Mhango at the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba
President EdgarLungu being shown some soya beans by SEEDCO Head of marketing Brian Mhango at the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba

President Edgar Lungu says there is need for Zambian small scale farmers to embrace and employ technological innovations in order to improve their agricultural productivity.

President Lungu said Zambia has a lot of potential which needs harnessing by using new technologies in place of traditional methods of farming.

ZANIS reports that President Lungu said this after a four hour tour of stands and interactions with exhibitors at the 2018 Zambia Agritech Expo at Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust in Chisamba District.

The Head of State said there is no harm for Zambia to learn and adopt best agricultural practices from other countries in order to improve the agriculture sector.

President Lungu said agricultural mechanization is the way to go if the country is to succeed in ensuring that agricultural diversification takes center stage and becomes the economic mainstay of the economy.

He appealed to farmers not to restrict themselves to maize growing but embrace other crops because agriculture is a business that entails running it profitably.

Mr. Lungu stated that the increasing goodwill and soaring numbers of investors coming to Zambia to invest is a clear indication that Zambia is not in flames but a preferred investment destination.

President Lungu said the Bank of Zambia has to find ways with Commercial Banks to ensure that small scale farmers have access to finance for them to engage in mechanized farming which is presently out of their reach.

He said there is need to develop micro financing systems and frameworks to support small scale farmers’ engagement in mechanized farming so that the country can truly be food secure and be the food basket of Southern Africa.

The President explained that there is need for other agro marketing companies to come on board and offer reasonable prices for crops such as maize as opposed to imitating the Food Reserve Agency.

President Lungu witnessing the signing of financing agreement for small scale commercial farmers by Head of European Union Alesandrio Mariana and Fredson Yamba at the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba
President Lungu witnessing the signing of financing agreement for small scale commercial farmers by Head of European Union Alesandrio Mariana and Fredson Yamba at the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba

And President Edgar Lungu has assured farmers that his government is determined to address all agricultural and agro marketing challenges that the farming community has been facing in the recent past.

Mr Lungu says this so because government realizes the important role the agricultural sector plays in the country’s economy.

Mr Lungu reiterated that he wants the agricultural sector to be the main economic driver of the country.

He was speaking in Chisamba district in Central Province yesterday when he officially opened this year’s Agrotech Expo organised by the Zambia National Farmers Union.

Mr Lungu also said his government will continue with the electronic voucher (e-voucher) because it is the most effective system for service delivery of agricultural inputs especially to small scale farmers who are emerging crop and food producers in the country.

He acknowledged that the electronic voucher system has faced challenges and other hiccups but assured the farmers that his government was doing everything possible to rectify them.

Mr Lungu has also called on small scale farmers to embrace fish farming, crop diversification and modern agricultural technology to cope with climate change being experienced in the country.

The President assured the farmers that his government will always promote fish farming and work with the private sector to advance issues of agricultural and aquaculture technology in order to diversify the economy.

He challenged the farming community to read the draft land reform policy and draft water policy and submit their observations so that the policies benefit everyone once fully put into effect.

Speaking earlier, Livestock and Fisheries Minister, Kampamba Mulenga, highlighted progress her ministry has made to improve the fisheries and livestock sector.

Ms Mulenga also apologized to the farmers for the foot and mouth outbreak disease which has broken out in Chisamba and Chibombo district.

She, however, said her ministry was doing everything possible to treat and curb the further spread of then disease, saying a taskforce on the outbreak has since been established and three vehicles procured to accelerate the process of treating and vaccinating animals in the areas.

And Minister of Agriculture, Michael Katambo, congratulated ZNFU for successfully organizing the Agritech Expo for five years in a role

Mr Katambo urged the farmers to adopt the technologies exhibited during the expo for them to increase productivity, adding that his ministry will continue creating an enabling environment for them to boost their agro businesses.

The Minister of Agriculture assured the farmers that all unscrupulous agro dealers who disadvantaged small scale farmers in the execution of the e voucher system will be dealt with and blacklisted.

Meanwhile, ZNFU president, Jevis Zimba, said the agricultural sector has reached the cutting age with the changing climate change.

Mr Zimba said it was imperative for farmers to adopt new agricultural technologies because the country and region as a whole was facing drastic changing weather patterns.

He described the year 2018 as a year of fresh start with the call to government to consult his Union before implementing certain policies affecting the Union and farming community like the land reform policy and water policy which he said would jeorpadise the agricultural sector if poorly formed and implemented.

This year’s theme for the Agritech Expo is ‘Working together to build a stronger Zambian Agricultural Sector’.

President EdgarLungu is given an organic yam by Monkey Orange crafts Executive Director Michael Mwandila at the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba
President EdgarLungu is given an organic yam by Monkey Orange crafts Executive Director Michael Mwandila at the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba
President EdgarLungu listens to an exhbitor on how to grow wheat
President EdgarLungu listens to an exhbitor on how to grow wheat
President EdgarLungu listens to an exhbitor on how to grow wheat at the Agriculture Exbition in Chisamba
President EdgarLungu listens to an exhbitor on how to grow wheat at the Agriculture Exbition in Chisamba
President Edgar Lungu Receives a bream from First Hatch Fisheries Aqua Agricultuist Pumulo Mubiana during the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba
President Edgar Lungu Receives a bream from First Hatch Fisheries Aqua Agricultuist Pumulo Mubiana during the 5th Agriculture Expo in Chisamba
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22 COMMENTS

  1. For agriculture to take center stage farmers need a good price for the produce. The govt should strike a balance with pleasing the consumer and helping the farmer continue production. This season’s crop both soya and maize hectarage was less because farmers were discouraged with the daylight robbery that has been going on by the millers and middlemen buyers. The govt has let down farmers with the explotative maize floor price and ZNFU has been a toothless tiger in fighting for the farmers. Even today middlemen buyers are getting maize as low as K1.1 from farmers in rural areas and their friends the millers have increased the price of mealiemeal yet they are buying the commodity at a low price! May God judge these evil business men accordingly.

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    • Market forces at play. Let us not always blame the government for low prices of agricultural produce. In 2016/2017 the who region had enough rains. Even Zimbabwe had a bumper harvest in a long time. Countries like Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, all had enough Maize, groundnuts, soy beans, sunflower etc. The only nearest market was East Africa- Rwanda and Burundi. All the countries were fighting for the same market. How do u expect the price to be higher if supply is more than demand?

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    • it’s risky to give the man a bream. He will eat it straight away the way he has in the past seen eating a mango in public, the Chawama style. The man has a lot of problems with the immediate one, CK. I can see that one is bothering him right now! Lungu fuseke, bukabolala,

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    • EL the imposter, We are still waiting, Show us your Primary school and childwood House in Ndola. Show us your class mates in Primary school and your birth certificate. Ze is being ruled by an illigal, Obama was forced to produce his birth certificate by the Trump a citizen, We demand the same, SHOW MULOGOTI YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE>

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    • The onus to stop being exploited lies with the farmer. In countries where agriculture production has huge value such as South Africa and Namibia, farmers are active members of cooperatives to regulate production and supply, and to leverage input costs. See how the Agric and Livestock Cooperative in Showgrounds has dented exploitation of farmers on input supplies, and how the White settlers Cooperative called ZAMBEEF is ensuring value addition and leveraging good returns by ensuring cost reflective pricing on the retail end.

      The moment we (we are all farmers in one way or another) thought cooperatives were a UNIPist thing, we doomed ourselves. At markets, Kaponyas are the leverage Kings now.

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  2. When is Lungu gonna open an export car assembly plant,a semiconductor factory or a biotech firm? Zambia must move up the food chain to seriously develop like Malaysia.

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    • Not in our lifetime… especially not with the cheap (low quality) imports from the China man. Also must mention the Chinese cutting edge conning tendencies to bring local businesses down.

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    • They only talk of exporting raw products and not adding value…these basic issues are too complex for someon like Lazy Lungu he would rather sign an EXIM Bank loan…I mean that soyabeans is so versatile that its a substitute for milk which our people can not afford…you will not find a single factory being opened busy importing everything from RSA.

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    • @Nine Chale your comment’s so true. We take many things for granted not knowing what it takes to plan, fund & build infrastructure. We happily drive on roads & use new infrastructure but busy insulting people that have facilitated for their construction. I’m praying hard to God not to punish us for being so ungrateful for what He has done for us over recent years sometimes through unlikely vessels. We need to change our mindsets & exploit opportunities this infrastructure brings. It pains me to see some of my fellow Zambians complain against progress day in day out. In meantime foreigners are seeing advantages while we busy behaving like spoilt children. God Help Zambia

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    • Nine Chale is wrong,how does an indigenous Zambian open up a factory when the political and cultural environment doesn’t allow him?

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  3. Expos are good for a developing economies like ours because they expose the small and medium sized farmers to innovations which are key in improving productivity thereby leading to economic development.

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  4. There is also need to educate our small scale farmers to realise that farming is business and should be run profitably not just like a by the way thing but an integral part of economic emancipation,it can create wealth,enlongate the GDP,bring forex . e.t.c .When price of maize drops that entails cheaper access to livestock feed so this creates an opportunity for us to diversify our farming from just focus ing on maize but others as well.We can still push for export permits as well so that we take advantage of other international markets where our products can be more competitive.

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  5. @jason Nyrienda what market forces? Can you explain how the market forces of supply and demand are at play for millers to hike prices of maize when they are still buying at K1.2 or even less? What planet are you from? Don’t take some of us for being ignorant sheep. What is happening here is complete exploitation by the millers against both the farmer and the consumer. The millers and the middle men buyers are the problem and govt have turned a blind eye to their illegal activities for too long. Consumer Protection Commission and Farmer Unions have failed lamentably in this injustice. Farmers are forced either to sell at low prices or watch the maize rot.

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  6. Ctn… The govt say farmers are free to export, realistically speaking how many small scale farmer can afford time and money to travel to regional centres and overcome the red tape involved in acquiring an export license? The export of maize has only favoured the same millers who have been exported the commodity to Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya in record amounts- they have been buying the maize at K1.2 or less per kg and selling it as high as K5 per kg. This kind of profit making is criminal to say the least. Govt have given no real guidance to farmers cooperative on how they the small scale farmers can export, why? Such a sad situation at play here, deliberatly putting farmers in a corner where they are forced to sell at a pittance!

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  7. Even here the Balaam’s animo is insulting instead of helping Balaam do the right thing? Thank God Balaam’s donki was more sensible than the ones we have now.

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