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Agriculture

Zambia talks attaining food security

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has called for a holistic approach in order to attain food security of the country.

Mr Hichilema said that indigenous methods of farming have been discussed in order to increase food productivity and achieve food security.

Seaking during the First Session of the Earthna Summit in Doha, Qatar, President  Hichilema said policies are being discussed to help achieve food security.

“We discussed how to leverage our indigenous knowledge and heritage of traditional farming methods into agriculture policies in order to increase food productivity and achieve food security. We argued that smallholder farmers should be considered when addressing food security,” he said.

He noted that it was good to learn how President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone is tackling food security in his country.

“Equally, Right Honourable Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary General, gave an impassioned account of how the 56 nations of the Commonwealth face food insecurity because of climate change. If we do not have food security then we court instability at national, regional, and global level. This calls for  a holistic approach if food security is to be reached and a sustainable, lasting peace achieved,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 8th March, 2023)

Agriculture

Country is food secure, but bumper harvest uncertain, says Minister of Agriculture

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A BUMPER harvest remains uncertain with the Government stating that it is unable to predict this season’s maize yield owing to the drought situation being experienced in many parts of the country.

With the prolonged dry spells, Minister of Agriculture Reuben Mtolo has expressed uncertainty of what lies ahead beyond the 2024 harvest which is in four months time.

Mr Mtolo said in a ministerial statement in parliament today that the country is food secure for the time being but there is a concern for the period beyond the next harvest.

“The country is food secure up to the next harvest, the concern therefore should be for the period beyond the next harvest. The measures put in place by the Government so  far appear to be adequate to ensure availability of the staple food into the near future,”he said.

He said the country has over 800,000 metric tonnes of maize grain.

Mr Mtolo said 365,665.95 metric tonnes from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), 258,727 metric tonnes Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) and 25,273 metric tonnes from the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ).

In his statement, he also touched on other issues such as the importation of mealie meal containing Genetically Modified Organisms.

He said Zambia is a non GMO country and is therefore not importing any GMO mealie meal for local consumption.

Mr Mtolo said the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the private sector have been permitted to import and transit mealie-meal for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) market to safeguard the locally grown crop.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 21st February, 2024)

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Agriculture

Govt embarks of Artificial Insemination services to enhance production of cattle and pigs

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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)

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Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture reverses decision to restrict maize and mealie meal movement

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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)

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