LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
MINISTER of Agriculture Dora Siliya says there is need to come up with incentives that will encourage more women and youths to start farming at a large scale.
She said that most women in Zambia practise peasant farming adding that the returns are not high.
Ms Siliya said agriculture is not just farming, but that there is also need to look at the number of women who are involved.
“Women should not wait until they retire to start farming; people should start farming when they are young and energetic,’’ Ms Siliya said.
She said land acquisition is another challenge women with plans to start farming face adding that most women are practising farming on land which is not on title.
“A total of 94 percent of the land in Zambia is traditional land and when a big agro dealer approaches the traditional leaders for land, the women farmers are easily displaced from traditional land in preference for the commercial farmer,’’ she said.
Ms Siliya said she is happy that President Lungu is working towards improving the land acquisition process for women to allow more women to acquire land.
She said once the procedure to acquire land is shortened, many women will be able to get land easily and develop it for their own benefit.
Ms Siliya said the women farmers will also need to acquire knowledge on the types of farming and how to manage crops.
She said most women do not know how to package and market their products for their products to be competitive on the market.
“It is my responsibility as the Minister of Agriculture to push for investments in the agriculture sector that will benefit women and youths,’’ Ms Siliya said.