Stakeholders urged to partner with government to deliver services

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Mwandi District Commissioner, Chabi Akufuna says the provision of services to communities should not be left to government alone as all  stakeholders  have a pivotal role to play in the alleviation of poverty in society.

Ms Akufuna was speaking when she officially opened an Agriculture consultative meeting organized by the district agriculture department held at Saint Arnold Janssen Mwandi Parish in Mwandi district.

She said the consultative meeting on agriculture with various stakeholders was meant to discuss the future of agriculture as a sustainable livelihood for farmers as well as a tool towards economic development of the nation.

Ms Akufuna noted that agriculture is a key that would take centre stage in improving the livelihood of people especially in rural areas such as Mwandi district.

She further added that the essence of the meeting was also to blend activities implemented by NGOs and those of government in order to achieve maximum benefits in coordinating the livelihood of people in the district.

Ms Akufuna urged the participants of the meeting to work close with the new established district agriculture office to ensure food security in the area.

And Mwandi District Agriculture Coordinator, Given Sicheeba stated that the intended goal of the meeting was to discuss ways of improving the livelihoods in the area through improved crop and livestock production and conservation of natural resources.

Mr Sicheeba noted that one of the challenges in the district is the shunning of the farmer input support programme (FISP) by the famers.

He said very few farmers are accessing FISP in the district and noted that out of the 460 seed packs allocated to the district only 70 seed packs have been collected.

Mr Sicheeba further appealed to the stakeholders to utilize the opportunity to inform the agriculture department on the activities they have been carrying out and are currently doing in the area.

Meanwhile, Zambia National Farmers Union Sesheke District Coordinator, Kennedy Mundia said the organization is trying to promote conservation agriculture in the district especially in areas which are flood prone and game reserves such as the Simahala Community Conservancy.

Mr Mundia said that one challenge experienced in some areas is the issue of agriculture extension officers who do not avail their services to farmers in the various camps.