Invest in irrigation, state urged

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 14:58:04 +0000

By AARON CHIYANZO

 THE dry spell in Lusaka and other parts of the country should serve as a wakeup call for the government to consider taking up irrigation farming investment seriously.

Making the call in Lusaka, United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) president Charles Chanda warned that there was definitely going to be a problem with the harvest because of poor rainfall.

He explained in a statement that the continued dry spell in Lusaka and other parts of the country had led to the maize crops drying up.

Mr Chanda pointed out that despite the Zambia Meteorological Department two weeks ago hinting that the rainfall performance from October 1 to December, 31 last year was normal to above normal in most parts of the country, Lusaka, Muchinga, Southern and Western provinces had recorded below average rainfall.

Mr Chanda said that despite largely being dependent on rains for farming activities in Zambia, there was need to consider irrigation as a measure to avert such situations that dragged farmers into panic.

“We are faced with a challenge this season especially with the rains that have not been kind to us and there is definitely going to be a problem with the harvest. The continued lack of rain in Lusaka and parts of the country has led to maize crops drying up,” he said.

Mr Chanda called on government through the Ministry of Agriculture to secure early maturing seed varieties to be distributed to farmers whose crop may die as a result of lack of average soil moisture should there be later rainfall activity.

He warned that should this dry spell escalate, there would be a deficit in agricultural produce harvest this farming season.

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