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Czech Republic sets aside €1.2m to advance agriculture

THE Czech Republic has set aside about €1.2 million to support the advancement of technology in agriculture among smallholder farmers in the country, Ambassador to Zambia Radek Rubes has said.

And Czech Republic tractor- manufacturing firm Zetor is also exploring possibilities of establishing a tractor assembling plant in Zambia to support agriculture productivity.

In an interview last week, Mr Rubes said the €1.2 million project is spearheaded by that country’s Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with its Mendel University to educate smallholder farmers on the use of new technologies to spur agriculture.
“The farmers will be between 10 and 20 in each session and will learn from the Czech Farm of Excellence in Lusaka on how to adopt agriculture technologies. The programme will first target small holder farmers before being spread to other parts of the country,” he said.
Mr Rubes said the Czech government wants to support Zambia to transform agriculture through the use of technology and environment-friendly farming practices.
“We also want to share experiences on how Czech has managed to develop the agriculture sector through mechanisation,” he said.
He said the embassy will facilitate exchange programmes to enable local farmers to travel to that country to learn how best they can transform the economy through agriculture.
Mr Rubes also said the embassy will also promote and market Zambia’s agriculture sector to investors.
On the tractor-assembling plant, Mr Rubes said Zetor, which has partnered with a local company to distribute tractors, is considering the possibility of setting up an assembling plant.
However, Mr Rubes could not provide more details on the planned assembling plant.
“Zetor, which exhibited at the Agritech expo in Chisamba last month, wants to set up an assembling plant but has not stated how much it will invest. For now, it has engaged a local company to distribute tractors,” he said.