Agri-business Business

‘Help agro technology’

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
GOLDEN Valley Agricultural Research Trust senior agronomist Simunji Simunji has called on Government to facilitate funding of research and extension service organisations to support the development and dissemination of new technology in the agriculture sector.
Mr Simunji said farmers should be supported to acquire farm equipment for tillage, management and processing among others to ensure improved economic development in Zambia.
He said farmers will effectively produce more on a large piece of land with improved mechanised farming.
Mr Simunji said this in response to a query recently that the use of new technology such as modern high-tech tractors will enhance crop productivity owing to climate change.
“In the advent of climate change, farmers with farm machinery are able to plant and manage the fields in time. This process will allow farmers to adapt to climate change. Therefore, as an agronomist, my desire is to witness many farmers developing interest in accessing the farm equipment to maximise their crop production and profits,” he said.
Mr Simunji said there is need to encourage farmers to diversify into cropping systems to reduce shocks from bad weather.
He also said that the integration of crops with livestock at a farm will help increase farmers’ production capacity, income and strengthen their resilience among other benefits.
“Erratic rainfall, prolonged droughts coupled with high temperatures has reduced farming productivity for both livestock and crops. Farmers should be encouraged to farm smartly by the use of conservation agriculture principles, improved seed, livestock breeds, pastures, fertilisers, weeding methods, disease and pest control,” Mr Simunji said.

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