KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
IN THE wake of climatic challenges, the Zambia Agricultural and Research Institute (ZARI) has developed seed varieties for crops suitable for various agro-ecological zones to increase production in the country.
ZARI co-ordinates soil and crops research in Zambia and it is responsible for seed variety development and improvement suitable for different agro-ecological conditions.
ZARI director Moses Mwale said the seed varieties, which include sorghum, cassava, maize, beans, cowpeas and sweet potatoes have been developed to suit Zambia’s three agro-ecological regions to enable them adapt to the soil types and weather pattern.
Dr Mwale said in an interview last week that, “Within the crop improvement and agronomy division, we have developed a range of crop types that are relevant to different agro-ecological regions.
“The country is divided into three agro-ecological regions. These agro-ecological regions have peculiar problems that we have to address through the crop improvement and management, especially, with the current effect of climate change,” Dr Mwale said.
He said the institute will continue to engage farmers through extension officers by imparting them with knowledge on crop management.
Dr Mwale also said ZARI remains committed to develop crop varieties that are highly-nutritious to promote health and food security in the country.
He called on farmers to use the appropriate chemicals to mitigate pests in the fields and improve yields.