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Alba Iulia
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Musokotwane confident in the new Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme

HeadlinesMusokotwane confident in the new Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme

Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane says the new Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme goes beyond fertilizer and seed, as it is designed to offer technical assistance to small-scale farmers.

Mr Musokotwane stated that the fertilizer provision alone without other things cannot uplift the small-scale farmers therefore, this Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme that is there is meant to intensify the help and technical assistance to the farmers from the extension officers.

He added that it is for this reason that more extension officers will be hired, and motorbikes will be bought for them so that they can reach more farmers and be able to advise them that for one hectare of land they can increase the yield out of it.

Mr Musokotwane noted that fertilizers are needed because they are an important ingredient for the farmers but now, it’s not enough just to give fertilizer, but the farmers should also be taught on how to apply the fertilizers correctly, and told on the new farming methods that are available and which seed are suitable for the area they are based in.

“Tell the farmers on the possibility that some of them may buy chemicals for weeding rather than depending on the manual weeding, as they can use chemicals to get rid of weeds,” he said

He mentioned that discussions of going beyond fertilizer have been held and the agriculture experts themselves have been advising the government over the years to not just focus on fertilizer but rather provide a more comprehensive package that will enable the farmers to be more productive.

“So, to this extent that we have chosen to do what the experts have been saying and we have hit the nail on the head by doing what the experts have been telling us,” he stated

“Our focus is on how to make the farmers to be more productive, because once the farmers catch on being more productive, it means that the requirements from the state will begin to be narrow,” he added

Mr Musokotwane said that the change in the programme is that the fertilizer that the government has been running with for several years, has enabled the country to have food and be self-sufficient, hence the farmers should be commended for this as there is a problem of food security in many African countries.

“Those who have to import wheat, maize they are suffering in terms of prices because of the war in Ukraine but for us we have been shielded from this, all thanks to our farmers including the small-scale farmers,” Mr Musokotwane said

He explained that because of the war in Ukraine, food supplies in the world have gone down because Ukraine was exporting a lot of grain, and Ukraine disturbed food supply which has become short in the world but people are also saying that it’s dangerous for most parts of the world to depend on one region of the world to be the source of food, because if there is a problem like the conflict that is there now, then many become vulnerable, so they are looking forward to countries in Africa to be the ones to crack up production and be able to be the global suppliers for food.

“Many countries want food from Africa, so the market is there,” he said

Mr Musokotwane mentioned that however, it is well known that the productivity of the small-scale farmers is low, whereas the commercial side of farms where they can get eight (8) to nine (9) tons of maize per hectare while the small-scale farmers sometimes get 1.5 to two (2) tons, now look at this one farmer gets eight (8) tons and another gets two (2) tons, it can be seen that the one who from the same area gets more tonnage is going to get more money, than the one that is only getting 2 tons from the same hectare will get less money.

“This means that if we help the small-scale farmers to upgrade their productivity so that from the same hectare that they plough, weed, and plant, if we can raise production out of that hectare to five, six or seven tons, it means that this farmer is going to get more money and he will be better off,” Mr Musokotwane said

Mr Musokotwane highlighted this when he made an appearance on ZNBC Sunday Interview Programme.

10 COMMENTS

  1. This is living in a cuckoo world… number of small farmers has been reduced, FISP packs have been reduced. Most of these small farmers know more about farming than those bookworms you are referring.
    Let’s wait and see

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  2. This is a positive development. Extension services will definitely help boost production. However, the onus is now on agro experts to help Government deliver. Look at ways of reducing dependence on fertilizers. Now we have chemicals. The best food we can produce is through organic productions means. Insect and herbicides pause the risk of food poisoning, apart from affecting the soils. We can have good yields without even using fertilizers and other chemicals. Our maize is on demand because it’s non GMO. If we can produce vegetables, fruits and legumes without fertilizers we can win a large market as many people are now turning to good naturally grown food. It’ll be difficult to wean people from fertilizers but we need to start from somewhere

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    • I have said it before that if farmers are not well off in the New Dawn, then Bally would have failed. Clearly Bally and Musokotwane remember KK’s agric policies. You just don’t throw money and fertiliser at people and expect them to be innovative. This is what will start innovation in agriculture. Lets try this, FISIPU has done its bit.

  3. It is a progreesive budget evem tnough I should have thought that the 4.9% allocated for defence should have instead, been allocated to public order and safety which recieved 3.1%.Our law and order enforcement agencies are in dire need of modernization to cope with the rapid changes in our societyWhen you liberalize the socio-economics,you also liberate what KK used to call ‘The animal in man”,the inert inclination for man to break the law of man and God.This inclination can only be constrained bystiffer penalties for offenders and very visible and modern law enforcement agencies.Convert one of those under utilized universities(Paul Mushindo or Kapasa Makasa) into law enforcement universities and modernize training at Sondela,Lilayi and Kamfinsa Dont employ 5000 soldiers.Employ 6000…

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  4. …..Dont employ 5000 soldiers.Employ 6000 police,DECand ACC.Make the Law Development Commission hurry in criminal and commercial law reforms.

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  5. Dont just train these Agric extension Officers using old outdated syllabuses of the 1960s give them a bike and send them away …you need to train them in modern methods of farming if you want to compete with Ukraine; give them iPads or Handheld systems to collect data and look up info much more efficiently.

  6. We may want to ignore this but Ukraine is a product of 70 years of communist discipline. It’s agriculture industry blossomed from communism. Zambia originally had an african ideology of communalism, confused by European capitalism and is still trying to find its economic feet. I wonder whether our eager embrace of capitalism will work since we haven’t developed any wealth that developmental plans can feed on. Criminal and commercial law reforms will find it difficult to take hold where crime is becoming second nature. E.g the civil service is one gigantic corruption breeder

  7. Please take note that the ring abductor is a well known upnd cadre. We don’t need to say much. You thought those guys won elections genuinely? Coffins and charms.

  8. Farming techniques have changed
    Machinery used for farming have changed
    Climate has changed
    Insects resistance to insecticides have has changed
    Siol fertility has changed
    A PARADIGM SHIFT IN AGRICULTURAL TRAINING IS A PREREQUISITE FOR SUCCESS IN ZED

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