Saturday, April 20, 2024

Perform to your full potential, President Hichilema challenges the agriculture sector

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President Hakainde Hichilema has called for concerted efforts in addressing the challenges in the agriculture sector for it to perform to its full potential.

President Hichilema said government and the private sector should place a premium on the issue of low productivity in the agriculture sector for economic transformation.

He bemoaned the staggering numbers in the production of crops as the country continues to record the same tonnes, which he said is of great concern.

The Head of State was speaking at the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) 116th annual congress under the theme ‘stimulating a resilient agriculture sector.’

President Hichilema explained that the world cannot do without food hence the need to be climate resilient by coming up with opportunities that will set Zambia’s agriculture sector on the map.

The Head of State noted that the country has great potential to satisfy the readily available local and international market hence the need for collective responsibility in order to build a sustainable solution.

“We have been marketing the potential of the country on the global space, it is time for us to do something so that the country can walk the talk. We have the capacity and ability to do it, let us play our part as government and also stakeholders,” President Hichilema stated.

The President said his administration will not tolerate anything that affects the running of the agriculture sector for improved productivity.

He further called for the use of technology to be more efficient and become more competitive on the market.

He added that government will continue working around stabilizing the exchange rate because it affects the cost of doing business on an international level, all part of efforts to bring macro stability so businesses can have predictability to plan properly.

Meanwhile, the President also committed to addressing issues that affect the citizens such as corruption and extravagant living by those in higher offices.

“We will not be weighed down by the misappropriation of funds, by the time it’s two years a few things will be broken to allow things to open up doors, officers have had one year to align to the vision of the country,” he noted.

And Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president, Javis Zimba complained that the cost of doing business for farmers is tough as they operate on a thin line.

Mr. Zimba explained that every process in the farming cycle is beyond the control of farmers, thus called on the Government’s support in order to lower the cost of doing business.

He said ZNFU wants to see an agriculture sector where government policies are sensitive to commodity prices so that whatever farmers grow is not a loss.

Mr. Zimba further appealed for a cease fire on the collection of levy from farmers until a sustainable solution is found.

Mr. Zimba further noted the importance of value addition so that farmers are able to have a sustainable crop value chain and do not make losses when prices are low for particular crops.

On the issue of animal diseases, Mr. Zimba urged government to work hand in hand with farmers so they are part of developing a sustainable solution.

He disclosed that ZNFU is in the process of developing an animal health care system so that livestock farmers from the onset can be knowledgeable on animal disease control and welfare.

He was however happy that government will turn around the sector to sustainable growth as ZNFU will continue to provide recommendations needed to improve agriculture in the country.

Mr. Zimba commended the actions that government has committed to resolve in the agriculture sector especially those pronounced in the 2023 national budget.

And speaking at the same event, Corteva Agriscience Managing Director, Samson Nyendwa appreciated the presence of the Head of State which underscores the commitment he attaches to the agriculture sector as a priority and key driver of the country’s economic development.

Mr. Nyendwa said the company looks at enriching the lives of farmers and consumers, by providing innovative sustainable solutions to the farmers.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Useless man. Can his whlte handlers tell him to pipe down. Manz a waste man init.

    Cedric

    Pf uk youth Wing chairman, London

    2
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  2. We just celebrated the 58th independence from the British, and we were part of the strongest colony in Africa. Do you know what that means?

    What we need is independence from political parties because it looks like our farmers are sitting on pins and needles.

    We just celebrated Independence day in diaspora organized by single parents. I don’t think GRZ knows that we exist, but we had Local officials and the councilwoman from City Hall in Philadelphia speak to us. Unaffiliated to political parties to celebrate Independence day and enjoy and have Plenty to eat you have to be outside Zambia because our farmers are sitting on pins and needles.

    GRZ What’s going on?

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