Kalulushi farmers call for gradual removal of subsidies

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—-Farmers in Kalulushi have appealed to government to the remove subsidies on both fuel and maize gradually to avoid strangulation of the agricultural sector and the entire citizenry.

Kalulushi District Agriculture Chairperson, Felix Lukama, said government should take a gradual approach of removing subsidies so that it would not choke the general populace and drill holes in people’s pockets.

Mr Lukama said this in Kalulushi during the 2013 District Agricultural and Commercial show held at Kafubu depot.

He said the interventions of government could be good but if such actions lacked breathing spaces, the drive for food production would be slowed and subsequently hunger would engulf the nation.

And Kalulushi District Commissioner, Kampamba Mulenga, urged farmers to engage in crop diversification as the rain patterns kept changing in the country.

Ms Mulenga said farmers should not only rely on one crop but on different crops in order to secure both income and food.

She further urged farmers on the use of zero tillage practices unless otherwise.

Ms Mulenga said she was impressed with this year’s theme "Good farming practices for income and food security," as it was in view of the ever changing weather patterns.

She said the unpredictable weather pattern could negatively impact the whole country like what happened last rainy season as the rains came late.

She said the above scenario made it impossible to get the best returns out of late and medium maturity maize varieties.

And Kalulushi District Cooperative Union representative, Lameck Mutaka, said the district produced a lot of farm produce compared to other districts but the feeder roads were in a bad state and hindered crop transportation.

Mr Mutaka complained that the other challenges the farmers faced were late delivery of farm inputs.

He observed that if all the challenges were not done farmers would be discouraged to go to the exhibit as well as participation in the agricultural show.