Business

ZNFU must partner with private sector

GREEN FARMERS are being encouraged to manage weeds in fields to encourage water retention and better soil quality.

KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
THE Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) says African countries should partner with the private sector to design organised commodity marketing systems that will limit government’s participation in the sector.
ZNFU president Evelyn Nguleka said Government’s full participation in commodity marketing systems is crowding out the private sector’s involvement and is negatively affecting hindering revenue collection.
Dr Nguleka said at the policy workshop for the ZNFU Farm risk management for Africa (FARMAF) yesterday, that, “The dominant participation of the of Government agencies in commodity trading has resulted in private sector being crowded out of the system. This trend has had huge implications on Government revenues and budgets,” she said.
Dr Nguleka urged Government to consider implementing policies that induce private sector participation as it is a corner stone to economic development.
She also noted that farmers are still facing various challenges citing lack of access to finance, and that financial products available are usually costly and unaffordable to small-scale farmers.
At the same event, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Given Lubinda said the private sector should play a leading role through increasing primary production and exploiting the provision of agribusiness services for value addition.
Mr Lubinda said Government is inviting the private sector’s led support schemes targeted at improving access to inputs and farm technology for smallholder farmers to increase productivity.
He, however, said smallholder farmers are this year expected to experience low productivity due to climate uncertainty.

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