Farmer challenges fishermen to take up agriculture

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A farmer in Nchelenge district of Luapula Province has called on fishermen to consider taking up agriculture, saying it is more beneficial than fishing.

Joel Chilambwe says compared to fishing, agriculture has been proven to yield higher income and lower economic risk.

Mr Chilambwe, who runs a farm in Kabuta East, approximately 45 km from Nchelenge administrative centre said this in an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) yesterday.

He said fish stocks in the country, especially on Lake Mweru, has greatly depleted leading to very low catches and poor business.

Mr Chilambwe said the agricultural sector on the other hand has continued to perform very well, a thing which he said has contributed to farmers getting a higher income.

He said fishing on Lake Mweru also carries with it great risks such as drowning and being captured by soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Between December last year and end of January this year, 55 Zambian fishermen were captured by Congolese soldiers after they were found fishing on Lake Mweru.

They were only released this month and one of them died while in detention in the DRC.

Meanwhile, Mr Chilambwe has appealed to Government to consider setting up an agricultural loan facility targeting the youth in the country, especially those living in the rural area.

He said once introduced the loan facility will greatly help to reduce the high unemployment rate among youth.

Mr Chilambwe has also called for the revival of Young Farmers Clubs in Schools as well as National Service Training for all school leavers to enable youth acquire skills in agriculture, carpentry and other life skills.