Government has implored the private sector to lead in providing reliable markets for locally goods and services.
Mr Mwanakampwe says government has observed that some private sector players in the agriculture sector especially tend to undervalue local products.
The Permanent Secretary says it is government’s desire to see the full participation of the private sector in the provision of profitable markets and quality agriculture inputs for farmers in the country.
Mr Mwanakampwe said this in a speech read for him by Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner, Francis Hasalama to grace the District 2022 Agriculture and Commercial Show under the theme: “Innovation through Technology”.
And government has challenged farmers to consider adopting climate smart and nutrition sensitive agriculture practices in view of the low agricultural productivity and food shortages due to climate change.
Mr Mwanakampwe has further urged farmers to undertake non-traditional agri-business initiatives such as fish farming, mushrooms and honey production to diversify their sources of incomes.
” The agriculture sector is grappling with low levels of productivity due to climate change it is important that producers adopt technologies that are more efficient to enhance sustainability that respond to climate change and current global food crisis and for farmers to take farming as a business,” Mr Mwanakampwe said.
Meanwhile, Kapiri Mposhi has recorded another bumper harvest despite the dry spells experienced in the 2021/2022 farming season.
According to the 2021/2022 Crop Forecast, Kapiri Mposhi District ranks second in Central Province and sixth in the country overall, with an expected harvest of 104,123 metric tons of maize this season.
Mr Mwanakampwe who disclosed this today has since urged farmers in the area to prevent post-harvest loses as well as manage the produce for commercial and household consumption.
Meanwhile, Kapiri Mposhi District Agriculture and Commercial Show Society Chairperson, David Mshanga has called on government to increase the number of beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) in Kapiri Mposhi District.
Out of over 51,000 smallholder farmers registered only about 25,000 are currently benefiting from FISP in the district.
” We want to commend government for various policies supporting the agriculture sector but we still want to appeal that more farmers can be included on FISP next season considering the number of registered farmers in the district,” Mr Mshanga said.
And Kapiri Mposhi Town Council Chairman Brilliant Munyeke has urged farmers to form cooperatives for them to access funding through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Mr Munyeke explained that through the expanded funding scope of the CDF, farmers can now access up to K 200,000 in form of empowerment grants.
From these grants, farmers could then procure machinery to start adding value to their crops for them to earn more.
” The New Dawn government increased CDF to expand the focus so that even farmers through cooperatives are able to access this money to help them diversify and start making finished products from the various crops they are producing unlike selling these crops at low prices,” Mr Munyeke said.
Mr Munyeke noted that valued addition will also prevent loses due to low shelf life of some crops such as tomatoes which easily go to waste.