Farmers urged to use e-voucher

PRESIDENT Lungu inspects maize at Zambeef’s Huntley Farm in Chisamba during the launch of the 2016/17 planting season. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

SEED Company Zambia Limited board chairman Chance Kabaghe has urged farmers to use the electronic voucher system (e-voucher) as a diversification tool for growing other cash crops with good profit margins.

In 2015, President Lungu launched the e-voucher system under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to be implemented in 13 districts and is currently underway.
Mr Kabaghe said the e-voucher system is a proper system that allows farmers to buy a variety of seeds such as maize, cotton, soya beans and also invest in the livestock sector.
“Farmers should not just concentrate on growing maize, but they should diversify and grow better crops with good margins and buy things like goats,” he said at the just-ended 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair.
Mr Kabaghe also said Zambia should focus on producing hybrid maize varieties which are more consumed than genetically modified (GM) crops.
He said the country is dominating in terms of export market for producing non-GM varieties, which are better than GM ones.
Last month, Zambia sealed a deal of
380,000 tonnes of maize varieties valued at US$100 million to Kenya in East Africa.
Mr Kabaghe has, however, urged Government to stop closing borders for maize exports as it will stifle the growth of the agriculture industry.
“We hope that this is a unique year and closing of borders will be a thing of the past,” he said.
He said with the operationalisation of Zambia Agricultural Commodities Exchange, it is also imperative that Government stopped closing borders because many traders are utilising the exchange.


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