A senior citizen and farmer in Kapiri Mposhi district has commended the Patriotic Front (PF) government for its commitment to improving the agriculture sector.
Emmanuel Himatanga of Nkole chiefdom notes that the PF government has made great strides in improving the agriculture sector by supporting small scale farmers with farming inputs and securing grain stocks purchased through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Mr. Himatanga said the storage and management of maize purchased by the FRA this year has been properly secured unlike in the past when most grain went to waste because of poor practices.
In a statement to ZANIS in Kapiri Mposhi today, Mr. Himatanga who is also a former councilor for Muswishi ward in Chibombo district, thanked government for continuing with the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) and purchasing some cash crops such as maize and rice from farmers through the FRA.
“It is commendable that the PF government has carried on with the FISP and FRA programs because this has ensured that small scale farmers have inputs for farming activities and ready market for their produce within the country,” Mr. Himatanga said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Himatanga has urged government to undertake providing ready market for small scale farmers producing other crops other than maize in the country.
He said most farmers who have potential to diversify into producing other crops are discouraged because of lack of ready market for such crops.
“Calls by government for us to diversify to other crops are welcome because we have great potential to go into horticulture and production of other crops other than just maize but we are afraid of lack of ready and profitable market for such crops,” Mr. Himatanga said.
Mr. Himatanga called on the government to provide the required environment for value addition to crops such as tomatoes which usually go to waste because of lack of innovations.