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‘Secure farm lands as economic activities increase’

‘Secure farm lands as economic activities increase’

By JACKSON MAPAPAYI

STAKEHOLDERS in Solwezi have called on the need to strengthen advocacy and sensitization on land acquisition to secure grazing and farming land for local peasant farmers. In a statement after an information sharing meeting jointly organised by Extractive Industry TransparencyInitiative (EITI) and Kansanshi Foundation, the stakeholders stated that this is because most farmers are unable to have secured land for their farming activities.

They revealed that with the boom in economic activities in the district, most farmers have been displaced from their indigenous farm lands. “This therefore calls for the need for us as civil society organisationsto strengthen our advocacy and sensitisation on the matter at hand,” reads the communique.

They also emphasised the need to lobby government to expedite the process of land tenure security through titling to enhance investment in agriculture. They said this would enable farmers in society have access to land for farming purposes as most farmers are failing to invest due to lack of land security.

Meanwhile, the stakeholders have called on the need to capacity build farmers in order for them to meet business demand. They stated that this can be done through empowering them in order for them to graduate from peasant to commercial farmers. They have called on the need to explore the initiative of marketing boards in order to enhance the purchase of local produce so that

farmers have market within their vicinity. “However, our farmers also need to go beyond the local markets and be able to sustain themselves with a view to even trade at markets beyond the border such as those in both Congo and Angola,” the statement reads.

They have however recognized efforts made by Kansanshi mine through the Kansanshi Foundation in the last 10 years in the agriculture sector of training over 40,000 farmers of which 7000 are being supported through the provision of agricultural inputs and technical support. The stakeholders included; Extractive Industry Transparency Alliance and NGOCC

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