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‘Don’t entirely depend on mining’

DO not entirely depend on mining jobs but divert your energies to agriculture and contribute fully to economic development and poverty reduction, a Luanshya based entrepreneur and farmer Eleni Grigoraki has advised.
Ms Grigoraki told the Daily Nation in an interview that the continued dependency on mine jobs was risky because of the unexpected downturns that come with copper price fluctuations and other factors.
She noted that people on the Copperbelt continue struggling to diversify into other commercial activities when the mines were faced with challenges because they had solely depended on mining.
Ms Grikoraki observed that the agricultural potential remained untapped and urged people to change their mind-set and start looking at agriculture as one of the most sustainable ways of development at household and national levels.
“We need to ensure as farmers that we work hard so that we can be linked to markets through outgrower schemes that will improve the quality and quantity of supply and improve the long-term agricultural growth. This sector is a significant one that requires a boost,” she said.
Ms Grigoraki said that the agriculture sector continued to be a backbone of the country’s economy, further calling on all farmers to work extra hard.
She said it was sad that Luanshya and other Copperbelt towns had continued to rely on mining, and industry which time and again suffer price volatility.
Agriculture sector in Luanshya, she said, had not yet reached its full potential despite the availability of land and proper road infrastructure.
“Increasing agriculture and agribusiness are critical for improving incomes and food security, reducing poverty, creating employment and creating a more resilient economy,” she said.
Ms Grigoraki commended President Edgar Lungu’s call for local farmers to start supplying their produce to chain stores amidst the corona virus pandemic.
She said that this was the time Zambians needed to wake up and realise their potential towards the growth of the sector.


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