Gender Gender

ZUIC to empower 500 female peasant farmers

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Union of Industrial Cooperatives (ZUIC) has embarked on a programme of empowering 500 female peasant farmers countrywide with irrigation farming techniques.
In an interview, ZUIC president Rogers Phiri said the programme, which will be implemented over a four-year period, is aimed at improving crop production in Zambia.
He said empowering female farmers with irrigation farming methods is a self-sustaining programme that will contribute to the improvement of crop productivity among small and emergent farmers in Zambia.
“Our peasant and small-scale farmers do not have water reticulation to continue with crop production when the country experiences drought. We want our farmers to have a good harvest even in an event of a drought,” he said.
Mr Phiri said small-scale irrigation farming technique is being promoted in all the districts in Zambia, especially those that experienced drought in the last farming season.
He said farmers must rise above the challenges that come with climate change and perform exceptionally well in crop production.
Mr Phiri further said the irrigation farming project will also empower the youths on sustainable livelihoods as they are the future leaders. Otherwise, there will never be any sustainability in agriculture.
“The youths are critical, so we have decided that as we implement the four-year project of empowering women on irrigation farming methods; the youths should not be left behind for the sake of continuity,” he said.
Mr Phiri, however, said that even with the promotion of irrigation farming methods, the association is still encouraging crop diversification.
“We are addressing crop diversification seriously because it is the best way of increasing crop variety and our farmers should embrace it,” he said.

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