SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has directed Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo to today issue a ministerial statement on the status quo for Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) distribution in the country.
Ms Mutti said since the issue is of National importance, Zambians want to know the status of FISP distribution, as the onset of rains has began .
The Speaker was responding to a query during matters of public importance raised by Pambashe area Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela in parliament said the issue of FISP had been brought before the Parliament house several times and thus needs to be addressed.
Ms Mutti then directed that Mr Mtolo deliver a ministerial statement to give the status of distribution.
“Indeed this is a matter that has been brought before the house sever times. The Minister made undertakings that delivery will commence last week on Thursday. Since this is a matter of National importance, people have to know the status,” she said.
Mr Chitotela said that farmers in his Constituency have not received the farming input support.
“Farmers are complaining that they prepared their fields and now there is grass growing because FISP has not been distributed. If the Minister is not meant to stand by his words, Zambia stands to have hunger,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 16th November, 2022)
Govt embarks of Artificial Insemination services to enhance production of cattle and pigs
GOVERNMENT has trained around 70 experts who will work in 14 satellite Artificial Insemination (AI) centres which have been dotted across the country.
The AI centres have been established to promote and enhance livestock production and productivity for dairy and beef cattle, as well as pigs for small scale farmers in the country.
The project is being done in partnership with Czech Republic who are Governments cooperating partners.
The services of AI will be provided at a cost of K100 to K150 per straw of semen to the small scale farmers.
Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Makozo Chikote says AI services in pigs are provided for at Kemebe pigery, while that of dairy and beef cattle are provided for in Mazabuka.
However, 14 other satellite centres have been established in various parts of the country.
“In order to promote and enhance livestock production and prodictivity of dairy and beef cattle as well as pigs in the country, my Ministry has been promoting Artificial insemination services to small scale farmers. 70 staff have been trained in AI to support the services and AI is ongoing in the country. We have established 14 AI satellite centres which are located in Kalomo, Pemba, Chisamba, Namwala, Nalolo, Kalabo, Ndola, Shiwang’andu, Kate, Chipata, Lundazi, Kalumbila, Kabwe, Chitambo and Mbala,” he said.
He said this in response to Kanchibiya area Member of Parliament, Sunday Chanda’s question during the question for oral answer session in Parliament.
Mr Makozo also said to further increase access to AI services for small scale farmers, his Ministry has endeavoured to increase the capacity of Nitrogen at AI the processing plant from 40 litres per hour to 150 litres per hour.
Mr Makozo also added that his Ministry is also in the process of rehabilitating the AI laboratories, so as for delivery to the small scale farmers to take place smoothly.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 13th September, 2023)
The Ministry of Agriculture reverses decision to restrict maize and mealie meal movement
THE Ministry of Agriculture has rescinded its earlier decision to restrict the movement of maize grain and mealie meal between districts.
Earlier, government temporarily restricted the movement of maize grain and mealie meal between districts.
Permanent secretary Green Mbozi said the restriction was aimed at protecting national food security.
However, in another letter addressed to the Zambia National Famers Association, Millers Association of Zambia, Grain Association of Zambia and National Association of Small-Scale Farmers, Mr Mbozi announced that government has rescinded its earlier decision owing to concerns from stakeholder.
“Reference is made to our Letter referenced DABM/8/2/5 dated 17th August, 2023, whose subject was restriction of in-country movement of maize grain and mealie meal. Having received concerns from a number of stakeholders, I wish to inform you that the decision is suspended with immediate effect to pave way for further stakeholder consultations,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 23rd August, 2023)
US generates around USD$7 billion to help boost Agriculture in Africa, Zambia included
THE United States of America (USA) has generated more than USD$7 billion meant to help farmers in Africa and Zambia included in support of Agriculture.
Vice President Kamala Harris says the money was generated with support from the private business sector and stands to support around 116 million farmers in Africa.
Ms Harris has since commended works at Panuka Farms in Chisamba district whose innovation in Agriculture is helping protect food security of the country.
Speaking when she toured Panuka Farms today, Ms Harris said the fund will be used as a model to help farmers around the African continent to cope with the effects of climate change that is causing devastating effects of food insecurity in most parts.
“When I think of what is happening at Panuka , it is not only a model of innovation and inspiration, but it also shows the amount of work being put up to reduce green house gases and so we advise the world to follow suit. Last year for example in Somalia, 43,000 people died due to drought, in Malawi more than 500 died due to effects of tropical cyclone Freddy and in Nigeria 1.4 million were displaced due to floods. That is why this trip has been about uplifting innovations such as at Panuka where smart innovation in Agriculture is being used,” she said.
Ms Harris noted that farmers around the continent could tap from Panuka’s way of innovation in that they will be given resources to help predict farming seasons and also help prepare for storms, droughts and floods to help enhance food security.
“We know climate change disrupts food supply and so Panuka will be used as a model for what can be done elsewhere. For example what is being done is high-tech where a phone application is being used to track the health of plants and also use of solar energy to power buildings such as irrigation systems,” she said.
Ms Harris said it was quite unfortunate that Africa suffered the highest in terms of green house emission consequences,when they are the lowest emitters which is why the US is helping uplift innovation in farming to spur a prosperous and food secure continent.
And Panuka Farms Chief Executive Officer and founder Bruno Mweemba expressed gratitude and delight to the US through Ms Harris.
Mr Mweemba explained that Panuka, which means many things including innovation and hard work was started in 2017 with the aim of demonstrating that Zambian farmers can be a model for the world in Agriculture.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 1st April, 2023)