Northwestern Province Permanent Secretary, Grandson Katambi has bemoaned low diversification by farmers in the region.
Colonel Katambi says the development is serious as it could affect the Eight National Development Plan (8th NDP) on agriculture if not addressed.
He says one of the major issues of pillar number one of the 8th NDP , is low diversification among others which needs to be dealt with.
Col. Katambi said this in a speech read on his behalf by Principal Planner, Christopher Bwalya during multi-stakeholder dialogue information sharing on agriculture sponsored by Kansanshi mine and organised by the Extractive Industries Transparency Alliance (EITA) at Kansanshi Hotel in Solwezi today.
“I will give you a simple example when you talk about low diversification, here is a poultry farmer all he does is chickens, chickens…broiler chickens, chickens but if you went and do village chickens.
“ And you went and did eggs and if you went and did may be agrochemicals you are already creating space for diversification within the sector,” he said.
Col. Katambi has since called on stakeholders attending the information sharing dialogue to find a solution to low diversification for the province.
The 8NDP Plan is structured in five parts comprises of part one which provides the development context by highlighting the past performance and opportunities and challenges of Zambia’s development.
Meanwhile, Kansanshi mine foundation Manager, Bruce Lewis said the mining has already started addressing the problem of low diversification by setting up three orchards, one at chief Kapijimpanga where the mine has planted several fruit trees, the other orchard at chief Mumena and Kansanshi orchard at Kipemba.
“We have set up three orchards already, one at his Royal Highness Chief Kapijimpanga which we did tree planting ceremony yesterday, the other orchard is at his Royal Highness Chief Mumena and a third orchard is our own orchard at Kipemba,” Mr. Lewis said.
He said the end result is that Kansanshi mine would like to see Solwezi as an export hub of fruits out of Zambia and inter markets in Europe, Middle East, far East and possibly even in North America.
The one day information sharing dialogue on agriculture is held under the theme “enhanced sustainable agriculture as a business “.