‘Zambia considering drought- resistant seed’

IN AN effort to combat the effect of climate change on agriculture development, Zambia has to consider including drought resilient seed in the farmer input support programme (FISP) to continue being food secure, a study has revealed.
According to a study conducted by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) on climate change, farmers need to adopt new seed varieties and management practices, if they are to increase crop productivity.
The study also reveals that if climate variability is to be addressed, farmers should adopt management practices and conservation agriculture.
It also suggests that agricultural research institutes should participate in addressing climate change by developing seed varieties that are drought and heat-resilient.
“To address climate variability, farmers should adopt new seed varieties, management practices, minimum tillage and conservation agriculture which seem to be a widely recognised toolbox of potential responses to climate change.
“The adoption of new farming technologies range from available seed varieties that should be promoted or made available to farmers through FISP, agricultural research institutes in Zambia should also prioritise the development of seed varieties with specific characteristics such as drought-versus heat-tolerance to reduce the effect of climate change,” the reports reads.
IAPRI also observed that given the wide range of adaptation strategies employed by farmers, it is imperative to determine which are the most effective and feasible in each region.
However, some farmers in Northern Province have noted that they would prefer to use 500-series maize variety, but they are only able to access 700-series seed through the FISP.

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