Farmers urged to diversify crops

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Farmers urged to diversify crops

Luangwa, Sept 16, 2014, ZANIS . . . . . . .  The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has called on farmers to diversify their crops if food security was to be enhanced in the country.

The Ministry has also urged farmers to take advantage of the deliberate programmes that government had put in place in its efforts to combat climate change.

Principle Agricultural Officer, Pasco Chipashya made the call during a meeting for the climate adaption project at Katondwe Primary School in Luangwa district yesterday.

Mr Chipashya said the Ministry with financial and technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was implementing the climate change adaption programme in eight districts including Luangwa in an effort to encourage farmers to diversify their farming culture.

Mr. Chipashya said the project aims at improving farmers’ resilience to climate change challenges such as the promotion of crop diversification to crops such as cassava, sorghum, non-timber products like mushroom, livestock rearing and bee-keeping.

He said it was only if farmers engage in crop diversification that government will achieve its quest of improving food security at both household  and nation levels .

And Chongwe Senior Agricultural Officer, John Lungu encouraged farmers to take advantage of programmes that government has initiated through the Ministry so that they combat some of the challenges that they were facing through climate change.

Mr. Lungu told the farmers that government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has put up a mushroom technology centre and urged the farmers to take advantage of it by engaging themselves in mushroom growing which was cheaper.

He also urged the farmers to take advantage of the new developments in Luangwa district such as the tarring of the Luangwa D145 main road and the connection to the national electricity grid.

Mr. Chipashya said the tarring of the D145 main road will bring a lot of investments and developments to the area as it will now be  linked to markets outside the district.

He also assured the farmers that the district will soon start receiving farming inputs before the end of this September in readiness for the 2014/ 2015 farming season.