Govt calls for a boost in agriculture

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——Government has called for a robust agricultural crop diversification program to boost food production and economic growth in the country.

Agriculture Minister, Wilbur Simuusa, said currently there was huge demand from foreign countries for Zambia’s agricultural produce and livestock market which must be explored further to boost economic growth.

Mr Simuusa said there was huge market for goat meat, cotton, beans and soya products in the Arabic Nation which Zambian farmers must take advantage of to earn a living and bring in the much needed foreign exchange.

He said this when he addressed farmers at Kalulushi’s Chavuma Secondary school.

Meanwhile, Mr Simuusa has disclosed that most of the indigenous Zambian fish and beef has been depleted, forcing businessmen to import the product from China to feed the local market.

Mr Simuusa further said there was need for all Zambians to engage in agriculture to enhance economic growth.

Meanwhile, Mr Simuusa said government has paid over K5.6 billion to farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for the 2013-2014 farming season.

Mr Simuusa said a number of farmers from the various parts of the country have already received their payments.

The minister is on a fact-finding mission to the Copperbelt on the number of farmers who have received payments from the FRA.

And Mr Simuusa has called on Kalulushi residents and farmers to vote for PF candidate, Edgar Lungu, in the January 20 Presidential elections.

He said the PF has managed to develop Zambia and turned around the agricultural sector, adding that voting for Mr Lungu will guarantee them of a better future.