ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) says the introduction of more farm insurance products will help boost farmers’ confidence and increase the uptake of protection against climate change threats.
Last week, Monsanto Zambia launched the Chilala crop insurance programme with the view to help farmers minimise losses in an event that they encounter weather-related challenges.
ZNFU board director for commodities Fisho Mwale said the recent crop season has been characterised with weather changes that have threatened farmers’ ability to compete and feed the region.
This is contained in a ZNFU weekly brief availed to the Daily Mail on Friday.
Mr Mwale cited the prolonged drought that affected the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and most of sub-Saharan African regions and the invasion of fall army worms as some of the challenges that affected farmers.
“These challenges have resulted in depressed crop harvests and becoming a financial burden on our farmers many of whom are smallholder or subsistence in nature.
“We usually do not know what mother nature will throw at us tomorrow, but we need to be mindful of the threats that can bring us from hero to zero,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has started the vaccination of East Coast Fever targeting 5,000 livestock in Southern Province.
ZNFU says the exercise has been necessitated by the deaths of about nine cattle in Monze.
“The ministry is planning on scaling up numbers and resources [mobilisation] and is appealing to other stakeholders to consider coming on board so that the exercise can be comprehensive to save livestock. Currently, the ministry is targeting to vaccinate 5,000 livestock in this phase,” ZNFU says.