NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Chinsali
GOVERNMENT has started building offices for the Ministry of Agriculture in Mafinga, Shiwang’andu and Chama districts of Muchinga Province at a cost of K2 million to ensure its officers operate in decent offices.
Muchinga Province agriculture co-ordinator Victor Mulopa said in an interview that some of the works on the offices have advanced while others are yet to start.
Dr Mulopa said Government wants to ensure the Ministry of Agriculture has its presence in the newly-created districts to improve agriculture activities in the areas in line with its economic diversification programme.
“Shiwang’andu and Mafinga are new districts and we have started building offices in these districts. We are also building offices in Chama because it is now part of Muchinga Province,” he said.
And Dr Mulopa said the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is targeting to buy 89,000 metric tonnes of maize from Muchinga Province during this year’s crop marketing exercise.
He said 110 satellite depots have been mounted in readiness for the exercise.
Dr Mulopa also said the Ministry of Agriculture is promoting crop diversification by encouraging farmers to grow other crops other than maize.
He said the province cultivates rice and maize on a large scale and that the farmers are able to make reasonable income from the two farm products.
Dr Mulopa said Government is also working with other stakeholders like the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) to promote value addition on farm produce.