-Peasant farmers of Vubwi district in the eastern province have been called upon to embrace conservation farming and crop diversification if they are to achieve household food security.
Expanded Food Security Pack Programmes Officer Kebby Chileka says farmers should adopt conservation farming because it has proved to be effective and that it is also environmental friendly.
Mr Chileka also added that conservation farming is also good for sustainable land usage while at the same time increasing crop productivity.
Speaking at the launch of the Cash Supplement Transfer at Mbozi Shed in Vubwi district, Mr Chileka said the support is meant to be a measure to ensure that farmers have food at house hold levels during the lean periods especially in the Months of January and February.
Mr Chileka said the Expanded Food Security Pack Programme started in 2012 where 300 beneficiaries participated and were empowered with a pack to cultivate two Lima of maize field, half Lima of legume and were provided with a Chaka hoe for conservation farming.
He said that the programme is now expanding to target 6000 beneficiaries adding that each farmer will receive four bags of fertilizer, 10 Kilo grams maize seed, and 5 kilo grams of legume to cultivate in this year’s farming season.
Mr Chileka said over KR7,000.00 is expected to be spent on the whole input distribution exercise for the 2013/ 2014 season using the electronic voucher system.
And Vubwi District Commissioner Verenasi Moyo commended the Zambian Government and the Norwegian Embassy for the initiative to expand the Food Security Pack Programme.
Mrs Moyo said it was good that government has adopted the comprehensive social protection programme of support.
Mrs Moyo appealed to the beneficiaries to take the programme seriously and think beyond just buying food but to put the money to good use.
And one of the beneficiaries of the Cash Supplement Transfer Maclina Phiri said the success of the Expanded Food Security Pack support depended on the attitude of beneficiaries to positively embrace the livelihood programme.
Mrs Phiri called on her fellow beneficiaries to take the programme seriously and to do the right thing by not selling inputs that they receive and also to follow advice and training being provided by extension staff from the conservation unit.