Govt. commends ZNFU’s empowerment programme in Mkushi District

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Govt. commends ZNFU’s empowerment programme in Mkushi District

Mkushi, February 8th, 2014, ZANIS —  Government has commended the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) for empowering small scale Farmers in Mkushi District with Tractors.

And the ZNFU says at least 80% of the small scale Farmers depended entirely on rain fed farming.

 

Meanwhile, Mkushi District Farmers’ Association (MDFA) Director Richard Lisimba appealed to Government to consider increasing the upgrading roads that lead to FRA (Food Reserve Agency) satellite depots.

 

Central Province Minister  Obvious Mwaliteta says the  development  is a good initiative as it adds  to the farming community ‘s  efforts of enhancing crop production and food security.

 

Mr. Mwaliteta said that there was need for small scale Farmers to utilise mechanized farming methods as the nation was driving towards consolidating agriculture as a major economic sector.

 

The minister said this in Mkushi District today when he graced the ‘Bunjimi Asset Loan’ handover of Tractors that was jointly initiated by ZNFU and NATSAVE Bank (National Savings Bank).

 

In a speech read on his behalf by Mkushi DACO (District Agriculture Coordination Officer) Chiluba Wabalika,  the minister said that in view of this objective, it was imperative for small scale farmers to embrace mechanized farming inputs such as Tractors.

 

He urged other organisations to emulate the ZNFU and NATSAVE in supporting small scale Farmers, saying that such gestures were in tandem with national development.

 

And  the ZNFU says at least 80% of the small scale Farmers depended entirely on rain fed farming.

 

ZNFU’s Vice President Andrew Moffat says it was for this reason that his Union has decided to partner  with NATSAVE to introduce the ‘Bunjimi Asset Loan’ scheme.

 

The aim of scheme is to create easy access for small scale Farmers to obtain Loans for mechanized inputs such as Tractors.

 

He said that the ZNFU was pleased to note that several small scale Farmers had accessed Tractors through this scheme, adding that access to Loans and mechanized inputs was a major challenge for small scale Farmers.

 

He expressed hope that more Farmers would pursue this scheme, explaining that there was need for Farmers to be steadfast in the efforts to increase crop output and food security.

 

Meanwhile, Mkushi District Farmers’s Association (MDFA) Director Richard Lisimba appealed to Government to consider increasing the upgrading roads that lead to FRA(Food Reserve Agency) satellite depots.

 

Mr. Lisimba said that there was need for Government’s RRU (Rural Roads Unit) to embark on improving the roads that connect to FRA depots, saying that such a development would boost agriculture marketing operations.

 

He said that apart from improving the roads, there was need for Government to seriously consider VAT and Import Duty on 90 Horse Power (HP) Tractors with the aim of making the Tractors affordable for small and medium scale Farmers.

 

Mr. Lisimba noted that there was need to create a climate in which mechanized farming inputs were affordable by the majority of the Farmers.

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