–United States of America Ambassador, Mark
Storella, has supported the decision by the government to scrap off
subsidies on maize, saying although it is a very hard decision, it would
help to prevent the country from going bankrupt.
Speaking when he visited Nsongwe Women’s Association, funded by the
Public-Private Partnership between the Unites States Agency for
International Development (USAID) and US Universities yesterday, Mr
Storella noted that said government cannot afford to continue
subsiding maize because in the end the country will go bankrupt and
all farmers will also go bankrupt.
He noted that it was a very difficult decision but in the end it had to make
the hard decision to serve the country from going bankrupt sooner or
“Right now your government is making hard decisions on agriculture and
government had to make these hard decisions because you cannot keep on
subsiding maize forever because the country can go bankrupt and,
ultimately, farmers too,” said Mr Storella.
The ambassador wished the government real success in its decisions
and expressed hope that more framers would benefit from the decision
made by the government to have more food and better nutrition.
He urged Zambians to be ingenious to make more out of agriculture by
diversifying in farming, saying the sector has great potential to
lift the country out of poverty and spar economic development.
And Mr Storella expressed happiness that the Sun Hotels and other
lodges buy vegetables from the farmers, saying the move would
significantly help farmers in the area become rich and healthier.
He observed that hotels in most places in the world buy their food stuffs from other parts of the world unlike Sun Hotel which buys local farmers product and help them in their agricultural undertakings.
Mr Storella, who also encouraged farmers to engage in crop
diversification, said the US Government, in collaboration with
universities, will continue to support local farmers to improve their
crop yields and be able to sustain themselves and improve their
And Nsongwe Farmers Association Chairperson, Fines Mulindi, thanked
the American government for supporting the association and Sun
International Hotel for inculcating them with knowledge on how to grow
traditional African vegetables like local the vegetable called bondwe.
Ms Mulindi appealed to government to help the association with
resources to connect the area with power to reduce using diesel for
pumping water for irrigation.
The US government, with the University of California Davis and Purdue
University, provided US $ 120,000 to 18 women who supported 121
dependants within the three and half years and the project is being
implemented by the as Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African
Plants Products (ASNAPP) started in 2006.