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‘Farmers able to meet local demand’

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIAN farmers have been able to satisfy the market with potatoes and other fresh farm produce, an indication that local producers have available capacity to meet the demand, says founder BuyZed campaign, Evans Ng’oma.
Mr Ng’oma said in an interview that Zambians lately had been able to satisfy the market with potatoes and other fresh farm produce such as cassava.
This, he said, must be maintained as Zambia looked to diversifying into other cash crops that earned the country money through exports while uplifting socio-economic profile.
“As BuyZed we are constant in advocating for the growth of farmers through capacitating and guaranteeing market as well as diversifying into cash crops,” Mr Ng’oma said.
Mr Ng’oma said the economic lockdowns had broadened its belief that local was a long term home grown solution.
He emphasised the need to delvemore into value addition for the country to convert the abundant raw materials into semi-finished and finished goods fit for human consumption and use.
Mr Ng’oma said it was unfortunate that the country was seeing the opportunities now due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“As a country let us think of home grown solutions and buying Zed in our view is at heart of them. Let us keep producing to feed our nation but more importantly let us add value locally to satisfy local and regional markets,” he said.
Mr Ng’oma observed that the country had for long relied on copper which suppressed the income once the prices reduced.
Zambia, he said, should learn from South Africa that despite lock down, was still earning through exports because of value addition.
“Imagine using our maize, we were able to value add and make cornflakes? What would be the economic advantages that accrue from the process?
“What we are mostly importing are processed products and buying Zed among other things is that process of making a processed product and value adding it,” Mr Ng’oma.

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