Katete District Commissioner, Malan Zimba says government remains determined to transform the agriculture sector so that it becomes a vehicle for economic development and improved livelihoods.
Mr Zimba says the resolve to make the agriculture sector the driving engine of the country’s economy will be done through enhanced partnerships between government, farmers and the private sector.
He has cited mechanization, digital agriculture and the provision of quality seed as areas where Government will build partnerships with farmers and the private sector to enhance productivity.
“Government in its policy on agriculture has placed emphasis on enhancing production and productivity by improving infrastructure, supporting value addition in order to specifically increase farmers’ income and build their resilience against the adverse impact of climate change,” he said.
ZANIS reports that the District Commissioner was speaking in a speech read for him by Katete District Administrative Officer, Anslow Muchelemba during a World Vision-sponsored agric-marketing and technology fair in Katete.
Mr Zimba further appreciated the efforts by World Vision Zambia for providing a platform that promotes business linkages and partnerships among the private sector.
He was also happy that the agric-marketing fair created a platform for easy access to quality seed, equipment and information for the farming fraternity.
Meanwhile, Induna Gabriel Sakala has appealed to seed companies that are working in various communities of the district not to sell expired seed.
The Induna, who represented the chiefs in the district, said the traditional leadership had received complaints about some seed suppliers distributing expired seed to farmers on loan.
“You, selling seed, please don’t sell us fake seed. Some people are going around our communities giving us loans for seed, however, the seed does not germinate. Sell us good quality seed that will germinate,” he said.
Induna Sakala further appealed to government to deliver the farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) on time.
“Chiefs are appealing that what happened in the 2021-2022 farming season was a difficult and challenging thing where the inputs delayed plus the delay in rainfall. So we are asking that the government may look into it this year by supplying the inputs on time,” he said.
He, however, commended the government for creating an enabling environment that supports and encourages private sector participation in the country’s development.
Meanwhile, World Vision Zambia Transforming Households in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) Business and Marketing Development Specialist, Francis Kamo said increased agriculture production and productivity is paramount to the institution as it alleviates poverty and provides better nutrition to children.
Mr Kamo said, to achieve this and whole year-round productivity, there was a need for farmers to mechanise their farming which will lead to better yields and productivity.
“Our focus as WVI is to improve child wellbeing. Our core business is to increase household income at the community level so that thereafter our caregivers can look after the children,” he said.