Agri-grant benefits 1,200 households
Chipata, April 3, 2013, ZANIS…The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has set aside KR32 million to benefit over 24,000 small-scale agricultural households in the country under the Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (SAPP) .
SAPP acting coordinator Kwibisa Liywali stated that 1,200 households in eastern province would benefit from a matching grant facility aimed at supporting activities in the selected priority commodities for agribusiness.
Mr Liywali who was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Provincial Agriculture Coordinator Obvious Kabinda said that the target groups for SAPP would be small-scale farmers that have a market orientation and are organized in groups.
“The programme will help link farmers to markets and help step up their farming business which is no longer regarded as a life style”, he added.
He stated that farmers in the province would be encouraged to venture into groundnuts and that the ministry would acquire equipment to add value to the produce.
Mr Liywali stated that under the programme, smallholders are expected to access a maximum of KR50 000 after a minimum contribution of 10 percent towards their business venture .
Smallholders that are engaged in entrepreneurship ventures would access a maximum of KR250, 000 to boost their agro processing businesses.
Mr Liywali further said that such intervention measures would contribute towards poverty reduction thereby reducing incidences of child malnutrition and increased food security at house hold levels.
Mr Liywali sad the progrmme which would end in 2017 would be carried out in partnership with rural agriculture and farmer organizations.
He stated that currently the programme would be in five districts namely, Katete, Chipata, Lundazi and Petauke and will accommodate small live stock such as goats, village chicken, and piggery.
He has however called on farmers in the province to access the service through the district agricultural coordinators (DACO) in their areas.