Reform agro system – expert

THE agriculture sector should be reformed to take into account the particular needs of each of the categories of farmers, the Zambia Institute of Agriculture (ZIA) has advised.
According to the ZIA, Government and stakeholders should examine the needs and how all categories of farmers were performing.
It said the three groups of farmers, the small-scale, emerging and commercial farmers needed to be identified with how much they would each produce.
ZIA president, Christopher Kapembwa, said once the farming system in the country was re-organised, problems in the agriculture sector would end.
In an interview in Ndola, Dr Kapembwa said Zambia had a very sound agricultural sector, but that there was need to reorganise system and end the challenges once and for all.
He observed that once the system was improved, Zambia would boost food production.
Dr Kapembwa said it was unfortunate that 80 percent of the food in the country was produced by small holder farmers who lacked the knowledge of the actual production process.
He also stated that the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP) was key in the growth and development of the farming sector.
However, Dr Kapembwa indicated that there was still need for clarity on whether the FISP was a relief initiative for an emergency or a start-up for famers who should later be weaned off.
“The FISP is the best programme that the Government has ever implemented in the agricultural sector because no nation would succeed without it, but there is need for clarity” he added.

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