ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA should tap into Africa’s growing demand for food and agriculture-based products to ensure economic boom in the sector, says Zambeef.
Zambeef joint chief executive officer Francis Grogan said investing in irrigation will
help improve productivity for Zambian farmers, thus ensuring ready agricultural produce for the growing market.
Mr Grogan said establishing sustainable policies on irrigation will reduce uncertainty in production and place farming at the heart of Zambia’s economic development.
He said this when a team of Zambian Parliamentarians toured Zambeef’s Huntley Farm in Chisamba recently.
“Demand for food and farm products in Africa is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. Agriculture must therefore be presented not only as a means of earning a livelihood for farmers but as a genuine tool for wealth creation; farmers must learn to look at agriculture as a business capable of generating wealth,” Mr Grogan said.
And speaking on behalf of the parliamentarians, chairperson for Parliamentarian Committee on Agriculture and Livestock Maxas Ng’onga said Zambeef is one of the major stakeholders in the sector and plays an important role in understanding irrigation in the country.
“We wanted to find out some of the challenges big institutions like Zambeef face in establishing irrigation so that we can have policy influence within the government agricultural system,” Mr Ngonga said.
He said Zambeef is a major player in the agricultural sector and one can see how it has improved the value chain in livestock and cropping.
“So many farmers look up to it for market, while consumers depend on Zambeef for produce,” Mr Ngonga said.
The tour was part of a national study on irrigation systems aimed at tackling some of the challenges that agriculture companies face in the country.