Let’s scale up irrigation – CSO-SUN

ZAMBIA Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition Alliance (CSO-SUN) says there is need to scale up irrigation and production of drought-resistant crops to mitigate food shortage owing to unfavourable rainfall patterns.
CSO-SUN country coordinator William Chilufya said scaling up mechanised agriculture through irrigation and other processes will cushion people from the impact of poor rainfall patterns in the country.
“Growing drought-resistant crops such as millet and sorghum will help to cushion the effects of poor rainfall patterns,” he said in an interview.
Zambia, which has in the past years recorded bumper harvests, anticipates reduced grain production this year due to poor rains in the 2014/15 farming season.
Mr Chilufya, who expressed concern on the looming maize shortage, said the development will have a negative impact on food security in the country.
He said children will suffer most from the looming hunger situation.
“The hunger will impact children’s lives, including hampering brain maturity which may cause irreversible damage and retard their physical growth. Adequate nutrition has the greatest impact on saving lives, developing a child’s brain and its physical capacity which mitigate the risk of chronic diseases in later life,” he said.
Mr Chilufya said Government should increase financial incentives through the engagement of various sectors to tackle the high malnutrition levels and the imminent hunger situation in the country.

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