KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
THE Zambia National Farmersâ€™ Union (ZNFU) says this yearâ€™s Agritech expo will include an energy park designed to offer innovation and cleaner energy solutions to help wipe out electricity outage blues and the ever increasing costs of power.
ZNFU president Evelyn Nguleka said the expo for the first time will also feature a live irrigation centre pivot, a very critical feat as Zambian agriculture focuses and seeks to expand irrigated farming at all levels.
According to a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Monday, â€œOur extended livestock zone is another must-see area, for you definitely need the right stock genetics and technologies to survive climate change-induced vagaries of weather,â€
â€œThe all new 4×4 test track is another feature that will finally help farmers decide on which 4×4 work horse is best for their farming activities,â€ she said.
This yearâ€™s expo will attract about15, 000 emerging commercial farmers, has also been extended to the small-medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) zone to ensure it brings in as many agro SMEs as possible.
President Lungu and Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda are expected to attend the annual Agritech expo in Chisamba slated for April 14-16, where various agro stakeholders meet to share ideas and knowledge for the betterment of the sector.
Over 145 local and international farming technology and service providers will showcase their products in what is the largest agri-event of its kind in the region.
Commenting on the event, Mr Lubinda said, â€œThey say if you want to walk fast, walk alone but, if you want to walk far, walk together. I believe that when farmers meet at this yearâ€™s expo they will be able to deal with their challenges.â€
He said Zambia needs to increase productivity in agriculture, especially among small-scale farmers who are the vast majority producing between one metric tonne and 2.5 metric tonnes of maize per hectare yet they have access to seeds that have a yield potential of over 10 metric tonnes per hectare.
KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka