Veep calls for animal dipping in all chiefdoms
Chongwe, June 14, ZANIS ——Vice President Guy Scott has directed traditional leaders in the country to ensure that small scale farmers take their animals for dipping to rid the country from diseases.
Dr Scott observed that the population of cattle, goats, pigs and other domestic animals in the country had been ‘wiped-out’ due to diseases such as Contagious Bovine Pleuro- Pneumonia (CBPP), blackfoot, foot and mouth among others.
Dr Scott says there used to be more animals in Southern and Western provinces and the population could have increases in the recent years had the previous UNIP and MMD regimes handled the dipping of animals with much discipline.
The Vice President said this today in Kanakatapa area in Chongwe district when he commissioned and handed over a dip tank to the Kanakatapa Resettlement Scheme Community.
He said the Patriotic Front (PF) government wants to handle the dipping exercise with discipline to improve the population of animals in the country, enhance beef production and export the surplus beef, milk and other animal products.
He said there is a law that compels small holder farmers to dip their animals and sounded that chiefs should accordingly deal with ‘defiant’ farmers who will not abide by the law.
“I direct you Chief Chamuka and other chiefs in the country to deal with your subjects who will not dip their cattle and in fact there is a law in this country to this effect. We are a rich nation and some of that money can go into your pockets and this is what our party manifesto says,” Dr Scott said.
On the 2013/2014 farming inputs, the Veep disclosed that farmers will pay KR100 towards the purchase of fertilizer for a 50 kilogram bag while government will add Kr150 on top of each bag of fertilizer.
Dr Scott said most vulnerable farmers could not afford to buy fertilizer at KR250 for the commodity of the same weight.
He further disclosed that Indian commercial farmers have shown willingness to come to Zambia to teach their Zambian counterparts on irrigation farming where wheat can be grown on large scale in the country.
“I have just returned from India and those farmers there have agreed to come to Zambia and help us grow wheat here. lt’s in fact double the price of 50 kilogram bag of maize,” he said.
Dr Scott also said government would electrify Chongwe district so that farming blocs can have electricity for irrigation purposes.
And Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo said Chongwe has seen a lot of developments in the PF government.
Ms Masebo said the Kanakatapa dip tank is above partisan politics and the people of Chongwe should endeavour to support the PF government and President Michael Sata who has passion to develop the district.
“l commend government for giving us this dip tank because Chongwe district has within a short period of time seen a lot of developmental projects under PF government and l appeal to the people to support President Sata. You might be aware that because my area has received a big share from the treasury in terms of road, schools, health posts among others,” she said.
And passing a vote of thanks, Chikaka Dip Tank Management Committee Chairman, Slim Simpundu paid gratitude to government for the facility.
Brigadier General Simpundu who is also Kasenga Resettlement Scheme Vice Chairman appealed to government to consider re-stocking cattle in order to maximize and diversify agricultural outputs as the capacities of the small scale farmers were only based on traditional rearing.
The commissioning of the dip tank in Chongwe today was witnessed by Chief Chamuka of the Soli people, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Davies Mwango, Agriculture and Livestock Permanent Secretary David Shamulenge and his Lusaka counterpart, Emeldah Chola, Chongwe District Commissioner Charles Mwambi, former Lusaka province Minister Charles Shawa and other senior government officials.