— Govt. urges farmers to be more pro-active

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Transport, Works, Supply, and Communications Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda has urged farmers to explore more profitable crops other than maize.

Colonel Kaunda says It  was unfortunate that the majority of farmers in Zambia only depend on growing maize, which has proved to be less profitable when compared to other crops.

 He said farming is a business; hence there is need for farmers to make the most out of it.

Col. Kaunda noted that surveys have shown that Soya Beans and Sunflower are better crops for small scale farmers , as they require little or no fertilizer, and sell at a higher price than maize.

ZANIS reports that the minister said this  when he addressed farmers in Vubwi District,  yesterday.

He  said there is need for small scale farmers to move away from the mentality of thinking that farming is only maize, as this is the only way that agriculture can make significant contribution to poverty alleviation.

He also urged the farmers to always look for the best market for their maize and not only depend on selling their maize to the Food Reserve Agency  (FRA).

Colonel Kaunda  urged the farmers to form cooperatives that will explore better markets other than the FRA.  

The Deputy Minister stated that government is ready to support any initiative that will enable farmers earn more form their produce, even if they have to export to neighboring country.

He observed that other forms of farming such as animal husbandry could be a worth investment for small scale framers as it thrives regardless of the rainfall pattern.

The Deputy Minister toured Vubwi District to explain the removal of subsidies to residents in the area.