The Zambia National Farmers Union ZNFU plans to set up a one stop agriculture centre in Mpongwe District.
ZNFU head of outreach and membership Coillard Hamusimbi says this is aimed at creating competition among input suppliers in the district.
Mr. Hamusimbi says the centre will reduce the cost of farming inputs incurred by farmers in the district.
ZANIS reports that the ZNFU official revealed this in an in interview in Mpongwe district, today.
Mr. Hamusimbi said the facility will be composed of warehouses and slabs for commodity trading which will also enable small holder farmers to buy
farming supplies at a cheaper price.
"Farmers will have to buy at a better price, which is the best because the farmer sales profitably and is able to continue with their
production, " He said.
Mr. Hamusimbi said in addition the centre will further provide training facilities which enable farmers acquire new production skills and create a mutual business relationship between farmers and the private sector players.
He further noted that the centre will also house a laboratory which will provide testing for crops to meet quality standards and a diagnostic unit for cattle and livestock disease treatment.
"The centre will also house a laboratory which can give you the quality of the grain which is being marketed such as composition of proteins which allows farmers to trade based of quality standards, we shall also have a diagnostic unit for cattle and livestock diseases so that farmers can access veterinary medicines from the centre, " He noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hamusimbi disclosed that the farmers union is in process of procuring farm surveying equipment aimed at enhancing credit finance among farmers.
"We have realized that our small and medium scale farmers much as they want to have their land on title they face big challenges such the cost of having their land surveyed and the long process of applying for a title, ZNFU is now procuring survey equipment for each region, " he disclosed.
He added that registered surveyors will be able to use the equipment and that farmers will be assisted to apply for title deeds once their surveys are completed.
Mr. Hamusimbi stated that farmers with title deeds will hence be able to invest in long term activities and acquire finance for secure land.
"Title deeds will serve as collateral and farmers will be able to borrow and develop their land at a faster rate than what is happening now." He said.