Letter to the Editor

Let us harness agro sector

Dear editor,
AGRICULTURE has been cited as the mainstay of Zambia’s economy, replacing copper, which is a wasting asset.
This is because agriculture has the potential to bring the much-needed foreign exchange, which in turn will lead to growth of the national economy.
Agriculture falls into the following categories: Animal husbandry, crop farming, poultry farming and horticultural farming.
To begin with, animal husbandry is the type of farming which involves rearing or keeping of animals such as cattle, pigs, goats, rabbits and sheep.
Crop farming, as the name suggests, this is the growing of vegetables like rape, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and okra, among others. Poultry farming is one which specifically involves rearing of chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, to mention but a few.
Lastly, horticultural farming is typically about growing citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, pawpaw, pineapples, to mention but a few.
However, farming can either be commercial or subsistence.
Commercial farming is where farmers grow crops for commercial purposes, whereas subsistence farming means farming which is primarily growing crops for consumption.
Agribusiness is slowly but surely proving to be a profitable venture.
In view of the aforementioned, there is need to harness the agriculture sector, which is poised to boost the national economy.
Gone are the days when agriculture was considered as the preserve of old people.
Things have changed as both young and old people can venture into agriculture as an alternative source of income. In other words, agriculture is an investment which everyone should undertake, whether someone is in formal employment or not.
It is good that the Government attaches great importance to agriculture by encouraging people to venture into the sector.
It has done this by providing incentives such as removal of customs duty on the importation of agricultural implements and also by increasing budgetary allocation to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
ELEMIYA PHIRI
Lusaka

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