Golden Valley Agriculture Research Trust (GART) director Stephen Muliokela said for a long time farmers in Zambia have faced challenges such as low yields coupled with the current change in climate, which has negatively affected their production.
Dr Muliokela said this in Chisamba at the demonstration of the latest harvester and plough by Afgri Corporation Limited to farmers at GART.
“The issues that Zambian farmers are facing is productivity, especially among small-scale [ones]. To solve this problem there is need to adopt the new technologies in agriculture because, currently, there are several technologies which can be adapted and assist improve productivity,” he said.
He said technology can assist smallholder farmers graduate to commercial farming which will in turn improve the country’s food security due to increased production.
He also called on farmers to embrace conservation agriculture because it has a lot of benefits for farmers and can stabilise the yields.
Dr Muliokela, however, said farmers need to acquire equipment for their fields to reduce on labour costs.
Earlier, Afgri Corporation executive country manager Wayne Wild said the company is bringing various technologies in form of machinery to the Zambian agriculture sector to improve yields and reduce production costs.
Mr Wild said increased production by farmers will help the country attain food security.
“We hope our equipment will help farmers in the country improve productivity. We are excited that the harvester and plough will make a difference to your farming and will contribute to the country’s food security,” he said.
At the same occasion, Zambia National Farmers’ Union head of outreach and membership Collard Hamusimbi said the union will continue to engage various stakeholders to see how they can help farmers acquire machinery at low cost.
Mr Hamusimbi said the acquisition of machinery by farmers will help them improve productivity as well as reduce the cost of production.
“We want to see how we can assist farmers cut down on production cost through the use of machinery. We will continue engaging with the farmers countrywide to see how they can adopt and acquire the machinery,” he said.
He said the ZNFU has partnered with National Savings and Credit Bank under the Bunjimi Asset Plus facility for farmers to acquire equipment.
He said Afgri Corporation is also offering various farming equipment to farmers in grain and lease agreements.
Zambia Daily Mail