The Kalumbila District Administrative Officer, Frank Siatwinda, has urged the government to consider making Agricultural Science a compulsory subject in schools to engage children in agricultural activities from an early age.
Speaking at the launch of the distribution of the Food Security Pack (FSP) 2023/2024 farming inputs under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services at Mutanda Community Hall in Mumena chiefdom, Mr. Siatwinda emphasized the potential of the agricultural sector to provide employment opportunities for school leavers.
“Allow me to encourage the government to make agriculture compulsory in our school curriculum so that our children can be engaged in agriculture production at an early stage. The agriculture sector is capable of employing a large number of school leavers who are currently roaming the streets,” said Mr. Siatwinda.
The Food Security Pack (FSP) is a social safety net program identified in the National Social Protection Policy, targeting poor and vulnerable but viable farmer households, especially those headed by females, providing them with agricultural inputs and accompanying services.
“The 2023/2024 farming season has targeted 1,062 beneficiaries in all the 12 wards of Kalumbila district,” added Mr. Siatwinda.
The overall objective of the FSP program is to empower poor and vulnerable households with agricultural inputs and livelihood skills, enhancing productivity, nutrition, food security, and incomes for self-sustainability and poverty reduction.
Encouraging beneficiaries to utilize the inputs effectively, Mr. Siatwinda advised them to join cooperatives or farmer and savings groups. The distribution includes compound D fertilizer, urea fertilizer, groundnut seed, maize seed, and beans.
Acting District Community Development Officer Louis Mulale explained that the majority of FSP beneficiaries in the district are women, emphasizing that the target groups include female-headed households, the aged, disabled, child-aided households, and unemployed youth.
Beneficiaries expressed gratitude for the government’s support, emphasizing the positive impact on their ability to cater for their families’ food needs. Bridget Kangala, a first-time beneficiary, praised the program, highlighting its importance in assisting vulnerable individuals and families.