NKWETO MFULA, Chililabombwe
GOVERNMENT has been urged to establish out-grower schemes for small-scale farmers as a starting point to diversify into agriculture as a mainstay of the economy.
Chililabombwe Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nelson Musonda said the out-grower schemes should be public-driven.
“To promote agriculture as a mainstay, Government should consider putting up out-grower schemes to enable farmers to have a ready market before they can graduate and do farming on their own,” he said.
Mr Musonda said in an interview recently that Government should also come up with policies that should support diversification into agriculture sector.
He also said Government should incentivise the people that are interested in going into farming.
Mr Musonda said agriculture is an important sector that could alone sustain the economic growth of the country.
He cited Malawi as one of the countries that are heavily-dependent on agriculture of various cash crops.
Mr Musonda said the ban of maize exports into Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was a blessing in disguise as it stabilised trade with that country.
The chamber said Government should come up with good policies that will support the marketing of maize products.
“This does not mean that farmers cannot sell their [maize] produce, it is the government policies that [have to be favourable],” he said.
Mr Musonda said it is important to identify what kinds of farm produce are needed in the readily available markets such as DRC.