State to continue with farmer input support


GOVERNMENT in partnership with the private sector intends to provide smallholder farmers with input support to overcome various challenges they are faced with.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Luxon Kazabu said the provision of farmer inputs such as seed, fertiliser and chemicals will result in increased yields and income.
Mr Kazabu said last week that Government’s long-term goal is to grow smallholder farmers and ensure they eventually graduate to emergent farmers and ultimately become commercial farmers.
“As Government, we support such initiatives by the private sector that will increase maize yields for targeted farmers, thereby accelerating the pace of development of individual farmers and invariably that of the sector.
“Zambia has managed to increase its agricultural output as a result of increased planting of different crops, good rainfall patterns, and favourable agricultural policies .The private sector has also played a very significant role in driving the growth of this sector by supplementing Government’s efforts,” he said.
He said Government is aware of the many challenges faced by farmers such as low agricultural production, low private sector participation in the sector, high levels of food and nutrition insecurity, particularly at household level, among other issues.
He said through partnership with the private sector, Government will address the challenges faced by farmers.
Meanwhile, Mr Kazabu has called on farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to be patient as Government is doing everything possible to clear them.
He said Government is mindful that the rains have started and farmers need to prepare fields and plant crops in good time.
“The issue of payment of our farmers who sold maize to FRA is receiving very serious attention. The Ministry of Finance has released an additional K50 million to pay some of the farmers who have not been paid,” he said.

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