Chief Sokontwe of the Ushi Speaking People in Milenge District of Luapula Province has introduced a one household-one hectare agricultural policy in his chiefdom.
Chief Sokontwe explained that following this policy, every household in his chiefdom is expected to grow crops on not less than one hectare of land.
Speaking in an interview Chief Sokontwe stated that the initiative is aimed at ending hunger in the area.
He noted that there is vast fertile virgin land in Milenge which his subjects must put to good use especially for agricultural purposes.
“It is an error for my subjects to be begging for food when we have plenty of fertile land in my chiefdom. I want every household to engage in agricultural activities so that we can become food secure,” he said.
Chief Sokontwe added that village headpersons have been tasked to spearhead the programme by ensuring residents comply.
He said his council will start inspecting the fields to ascertain that people have grown crops.
“The information has been disseminated to the people through the village headpersons and I expect people to have cultivated their fields by now. We will start inspecting the fields in April and I want every household to harvest some food. Those who won’t have will not be spared,” he said.
The Traditional Leader stated that singles are required to grow at least a Lima of some crops while a couple is to grow at least a hectare.
He said people are free to grow any type of crops but he places emphasis on cassava growing.
Chief Sokontwe stated that he has since requested for cassava cuttings for his subjects from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) provincial office.
“Most people lost their crops last year following the floods that were experienced. I am hopeful that the DMMU office will come to our aid as soon as possible. We are thankful for the relief mealie meal we have been receiving. Now we need to empower our people with a sustainable source of their staple food,” he said.