The government has commended various stakeholders for providing a platform for farmers in Mpika district to have direct interaction with the suppliers.
The commendation was made by Mpika District Commissioner, David Siame, during the district agri-marketing and technology fair held at Farmers Training Centre in Mpika.
The agri-marketing and technology fair was organised by the World Vision-Zambia in partnership with AgriEn Network.
World Vision-Zambia is implementing the Transforming Households in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) project in Mpika district.
Mr. Siame said the two organisations have provided both the solution seekers and solution providers an opportunity to have direct interaction.
“Support organisations that are supposed to drive the agri-eco system are equally resistant sometimes to the needs of the farmers, this event therefore offers an opportunity for direct engagement between the buyers, sellers and enablers,” said Mr. Siame
He added that World Vision-Zambia and AgriEn Network should be commended for the effort of bringing different players in the agriculture sector together to network and drive the cause for sustainable systems in Mpika.
Mr. Siame said World Vision has constructed canals to facilitate irrigation, promotion of onion, beans, groundnuts and sunflower value chain among others.
And AgriEn Network Zambia Director, Yvonne Mwanza, said the organisation is keen on promoting knowledge transfer.
Ms. Mwanza said so far the THRIVE project is reaching out to 4, 000 farmers in Mpika.
She further said THRIVE project was having challenges to link farmers to various suppliers.
“The idea is that we have invited various stakeholders and input suppliers to provide dialogue between farmers and the off-takers themselves as a way of solving whatever challenges the farmers are having in production and marketing,” said Ms. Mwanza
She added that farmers in Mpika are producing a lot of food.
Ms. Mwanza has since urged farmers to explore other districts for their produce and also work together so that they can access enough market.
Meanwhile, farmers in Mpika are happy that they have been given an opportunity to interact directly with the suppliers.
Patrick Mumba, a farmer who is also Malashi Dairy Milk Processing Plant Operator, said farmers are happy that government has given them an opportunity to market their products to buyers who have been brought close to them.
Mr. Mumba revealed that the platform has given the farmers an opportunity to sell their milk which is new on the market.
“We have been having challenges transporting the milk from the plant to the market. Now that the buyers have been brought close to us, our sales will go up,” said Mr. Mumba