Kasama district commissioner Kalanga Bwalya says government is committed to promoting the agriculture sector in order to reduce the poverty levels in the country.
Mr Bwalya was speaking today when he officially opened the 9th Annual General Meeting for the Kasama District Farmers Association held at Kasama Boys High School in Kasama.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Bwalya said to demonstrate government’s commitment towards the agriculture sector , it has released sufficient funds to ensure that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) paid farmers on time.
He said government will also ensure that the fertilizer distribution programme was conducted early to allow farmers adequate time to prepare for the next farming season.
Mr. Bwalya commended the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) for successfully hosting the event.
He said government was also happy that ZNFU had partnered with financial institutions to enable farmers’ access credit and increase their productivity.
The Lima Credit Facility with ZANACO, the Bujimi Asset Plus scheme with NATSAVE and the Fund for Women and Youths are some of the initiatives that ZNFU are implementing to help its members.
Mr. Bwalya said the financial interventions had come at the right time.
He said government was also encouraged by the participation of the private sector in agriculture, saying the development will grow farming.
Mr. Bwalya said agriculture had the potential to stimulate economic growth, create employment and reduce poverty if well managed.
He encouraged farmers to participate actively and develop commercial relations with banks, Insurance companies, input suppliers and commodity traders if they were to grow their business.