The district agriculture coordinating office in Mkushi has unveiled plans to facilitate enterprise skills training for small scale farmer groups.
Mkushi senior agriculture officer Patrick Mutale confirmed the development to ZANIS today.
Mr Mutale said his office would soon commence a program to administer agriculture-related enterprise skills.
He explained that the program had been initiated by Government through the Agriculture Ministry, adding that the aim was to build the capacity of small scale farmers in enterprise.
He said that agriculture officers in the district were recently oriented on how to conduct the trainings to the farmers.
He said that the move had been necessitated with the objective of stimulating sustained business activity amongst small scale farmer groups.
Mr. Mutale disclosed that although Mkushi had more about 500 cooperatives and 5 operational Agriculture Blocks, most Farmer groups were only active during the Farmer Input Support Program related exercises.
He said his office is hopeful that farmers would maximise their participation in the planned enterprise trainings to help them sustain their business activities.
“ we are hopeful of effecting some change among the farmers and we would be glad if at least 25 per cent of the farmer groups become sustained in business enterprises”, he added.
And in a related contribution, the National Peasant Farmers Association (NPFA) Branch for Mkushi district, has appealed for operational funding in order to make the organisation vibrant.
Mkushi Acting NPFA District Coordinator Aidan Ngoma stated that his organisation urgently required funding assistance from governmental and other well – wishers.
Mr. Ngoma reiterated that the operations of the NPFA were essentially centered on championing the cause for peasant farmers.
He however lamented that the NPFA was incapable of operating to satisfactory levels in Mkushi as the organisation lacksg funds to boost its operations.
Mr. Ngoma also took the opportunity to urge Government to consider increasing the number of fertiliser bags allocated to beneficiaries under the FISP from 4 to 8 to increase production.