Agriculture sustainable way of making a living, says GBM

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GMB

MINISTER of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba has urged Zambians to venture into agriculture as it is a sustainable way of making a living.
And Vice-President’s wife Charlotte Scott, has described this year’s 87th edition of the Agriculture and Commercial Show as an eye-opener for farmers to diversify crops and adapt to climate change.
Mr Mwamba, who pledged Government’s support towards the sector, said agriculture is the mainstay of the Zambian economy.
“Why should we allow foreigners to take over the agriculture sector when we are able to work more than them? In fact, I have been informed by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock that there are various support programmes for farmers,” he said.
Mr Mwamba was speaking in Lusaka after touring stands at the Agriculture and Commercial Show yesterday.
The 87th edition of the Agriculture and Commercial Show is running under the theme ‘Business in a changing environment’.
The minister said it is time Zambia became a nation of producers to feed the entire nation and export excess produce.
Mr Mwamba, who described the exhibitions at the show as impressive, said he has been encouraged to venture into agriculture in Kasama.
Mr Mwamba expressed optimism that this year’s show will be a success and toured nine local stands.
The minister arrived at the showgrounds around 09:40 and was met by Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Bob Sichinga and other senior Government officials.
Mr Sichinga said his ministry targets to produce 150,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser for the 2013/2014 farming season.
He said 70,000 tonnes of fertiliser will go towards the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP) and the rest will go to the open market.
And Dr Scott said apart from farmers adapting to climate change and conservation farming, this year’s theme will help business people to diversify in their marketing strategy.
She said she was impressed that both farmers and business people have come up with new ways of doing business.
She pinpointed companies like Zesco, who are working tirelessly to meet the demand for electricity countryside, mitigate load shedding and build more hydro-power stations.
Dr Scott was also impressed with young farmers from rural areas who she said have more information and knowledge on climate change.
She commended NIPA for coming up with degree programmes and building a modern library.
She arrived at the Show Grounds around 09:10 hours and toured eight stands in the company of show society past president Elizabeth Nkumbula.

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