President Hichilema says his govt. will implement a comprehensive agric. transformation program
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says government will implement a comprehensive agricultural transformation programme with the aim of making the sector a viable commercial undertaking.
Speaking yesterday when he opened the first session of the 13th National Assembly, President Hichilema said the agriculture is critical in driving, creating employment opportunities for the country.
“Our country has in excess of 40 million hectares of arable land. We have abundant surface and underground water resources. We have favourable weather conditions. We have readily available domestic, regional and international markets for our agricultural commodities. Most of our people derive their livelihood from agriculture,” he said
President Hichilema said it is only through agricultural transformation that the country will end hunger and improve nutrition while accelerating economic growth.
“We will restructure the sector to focus on activities and interventions that raise production and productivity in crops, livestock and fisheries. We will create a conducive and stable environment, which is a critical pre-condition for agricultural transformation,” President Hichilema said.
He said to improve agricultural production and productivity, his government will ensure access to affordable agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals and pesticides.
President Hichilema said his administration will also promote crop diversification away from maize by supporting production of a wide range of cereal crops, legumes, fruit trees, roots and tubers, oil crops as well as fibre crops.
“This will be achieved through improved extension services, mechanisation, irrigation, value addition and improved market access. This will result in enhanced national food and nutrition security as well as increased income for our farmers. To promote and increase livestock production, government will focus on stocking and restocking, artificial insemination as well as enhanced disease surveillance and control. Government will also facilitate research in animal breeding, disease prevention and nutrition. Further, livestock market promotion and value addition will be prioritised,” he said.
President Hichilema said his Government will also support the construction and rehabilitation of livestock infrastructure such as laboratories, service centres and breeding centres across the country.
He said his Government wants to enhance production and productivity, value addition, marketing, as well as transparency and predictability of the export regime in the sector.
“I, therefore, urge our people to seize the opportunities that exist in the sector so that, as a country, we are not only food sufficient but also become the breadbasket of the region and beyond. We have the capacity to do so,” he said
Marcopolo Tiles Donates to Mothers Without Borders
MARCOPOLO Tiles has donated various items to Mothers Without Borders to commemorate the International Charity day.
Speaking yesterday when the company made the donation, Company human resource manager Clare Moonga said the donation was part of its contribution to the needs of children in society.
Ms Moonga said Marcopolo Tiles believe that empowering the community is beneficial to the people and the company.
“As Marcopolo Ties we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mothers without Boarders for having us.Recognising the contribution of children to our society is the reason we are here today, as they bring joy and grow into our future leaders. So it is imperative that we give them the full support,” she said.
Ms Moonga thanked the Mothers Without Borders for being kind enough to allow the company to commemorate the day with the children.
Among the items donated include, hampers for each child, assorted food stuffs, stationery, a pillow for each child, a duvet for each child, towel for each child and sanitary towels for girl children.
Chifwani concepts distributes cassava cutting to small-scale farmers
Distribution of Cassava cuttings to farmers for planting in this farming season has began.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and pioneer of the project under Chifwani Concepts, His Excellency Emmanuel Mwamba confirmed the development.
A check at the Palace of Senior Chief Mwamba found farmers obtaining the cuttings of the Mwelu variety of cassava cuttings sourced by Chifwani Concepts.
Mr. Mwamba said he was extremely happy at the enthusiastic response by farmers.
He said his project will coordinate and scale up cassava farming in other areas where similar interests has been shown and he will recruit and appoint coordinators.
He said the Chifwani Concepts will help grow exponentially the cassava farming and also source market for the farmers.
He said the project will rapidly help change the livelihoods of rural communities and give them reliable income.
Mr. Mwamba said the Chifwani Concepts had entered into agreements with the country’s biggest commercial buyers of cassava.
Cassava commercial products include ethanol, Methylated Spirit, Carbon Dioxide, Bio-gas and Liquid Fertilizer and animal feed from Cassava and its products.
As part of establishing market linkages for smallholder cassava farmers under his Chifwani Concepts launched in Northern Province, Mr. Mwamba said he will closely work with stakeholders in the cassava sub-sector to scale up cassava production and help in food and income security in rural communities.