CHOMBA MUSIKA, Mumbwa
PRESIDENT Lungu and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo yesterday toured Amatheon Agri Zambia in Mumbwa with a call on investors in agriculture to empower their workers with education and modern skills.
During the tour of the firm which has engaged 10,000, out grower farmers on its 5,000 hectare operating area, President Lungu urged Amatheon management to empower its workers and their children with education to enable them achieve their dreams.
“I don’t want farm labourers’ children who are not educated because we risk having a generation of uneducated people.
They are also future presidents,” he said.
This was after the President was informed that about 75 percent of workers at the facility are from the local community.
He urged Amatheon management to consider building more schools in the area so that its workers’ children can access education.
And President Akufo-Addo said farm workers should be exposed to education and modern technologies.
Mr Akufo-Addo said he and President Lungu are concerned about the low level of education among farm workers.
“We discussed that farmers and farm workers need to be exposed to modern technology so that they can thrive. They need access to infrastructure such as health and education,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo was impressed that the agribusiness company has integrated the local community in its operations.
He said Amatheon’s farming model which seeks to economically, socially and environmentally uplift communities around it is worth emulating on the continent.
Earlier, Amatheon chief executive officer Carl Bruhan thanked President Lungu for inviting Mr Akufo-Addo to the firm because the visit was an opportunity to showcase Zambia’s agribusiness potential to West African markets such as Ghana.
He said the presence of the two Presidents at the company, which was set up five years ago, is a clear testimony of the importance the two leaders attach to agriculture.
“Through our out grower programme, we work with 10,000 farmers and we also train them to be innovative,” he said.
Mr Bruhan said his company decided to invest in Zambia because of the country’s political stability.
The two Presidents toured a fish pond, potato planting and harnessing point yard, cattle ranch and a wood processing plant, among others.