KELLY NJOMBO & ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) says continued growth in the country’s agriculture sector has facilitated the need for an enabling environment for stakeholders in the industry to interact at a professional platform.
And AgriProFocus Zambia says there is need to develop linkages between the Dutch and Zambians in the agribusiness industry to exploit investment opportunities.
Meanwhile, French agro-companies will for the first time showcase their technologies and inputs for agriculture, livestock and agri-food production at this year’s Agritech Expo.
Speaking ahead of the Agritech Expo that starts today in Chisamba, ZNFU president Jervis Zimba said the event presents a platform to strengthen linkages among national and regional farmers, agribusinesses, policy-makers and development agents.
Mr Zimba urged local farmers to attend the event to enhance their abilities and understanding of new techniques on farming issues.
“ZNFU is pushing the agenda of diversification and we are seeing that our farmers are also trying to diversify to other crops. Most of our farmers are small-scale, and they want to grow maize, cotton and soybeans. [At this year’s expo] we are looking at the issue of mechanisation, getting away from the old traditional way of doing our work,” he said.
And AgriProFocus Zambia, which is hosted by SNV Netherlands development organisation, is a network for agricultural professionals initiated by Dutch non-governmental organisations, finance agencies and knowledge institutes that aim at promoting farmer entrepreneurship.
According to a statement, AgriProFocus Zambia is seeking to support farmers to become strong entrepreneurs through working with farmer organisations that have the opportunity to capitalise on relationships with other stakeholders to empower themselves.
“AgriProFocus Zambia, in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands and Netherlands Export Combination, will also organise a Holland Pavilion at the 2017 Agritech Expo in Chisamba to create an easy platform to share knowledge and ideas between the Dutch and Zambian businesses.
“The Holland Pavilion will feature 18 innovative companies from the dairy and poultry industries, and knowledge institutions from the Netherlands,” it stated.