By NATION REPORTER
THE Crushers and Edible Refiners Association Director, Aubrey Chibumba, says Zambia’s sunflower industry has continued dwindling due to lack of investment in research and development.
Mr Chibumba said since the privatisation of research institutions like ZARA, which were owned by the government, there has been a lack of new seed varieties.
He said as a result, farmers have been relying on old varieties, such as milica, which was developed decades ago.
He added that other factors that have negatively impacted the cultivation of sunflowers in Zambia include the geographic distribution of oil-pressing machines.
He said only in the Eastern Province where there are many oil-pressing machines has seen a significant increase in the cultivation of sunflowers.
Mr Chibumba has since said that increasing the cultivation of sunflowers will require investment in oil-pressing plants in other regions of Zambia.
He urged the government to support the sunflower value chain as this will increase production of the commodity.