Government has reaffirmed its commitment on diversifying the agricultural sector in the country.
Eastern Province Minister, Malozo Sichone says this will allow small scale farmers to broaden their income base.
The minister said this at Kwenje village in Kasenengwa Constituency of Chipata district yesterday at a Cargill Site Visit.
Mr. Sichone says Cargill had taken a step in the right direction to organize a site visit as it is a milestone in enhancing food security and employment creation in the region.
He cited the 750 Cargill long term and permanent employees and 1,700 peak season workers, as an indication of the private sectors’ commitment in supporting the efforts of government.
He was quick to mention that smallholder farmers have continued to face challenges with access to inputs, extension and market access.
The provincial minister stated that government was pleased to see institutions like Cargill overcome the challenges by introducing fertilizer schemes, farmers’ training schools, women clubs and the Sungani Banja initiative.
Mr. Sichone says that the policy of the Patriotic Front is to set up more milling plants in the rural areas with a view to cushion the challenges that rural farmers are currently facing.
And Kasenengwa Constituency Member of Parliament, Victoria Kalima who was also present at the site, said that the introduction of Sungani Banja initative will greatly benefit people of her constituency.
She said the coming in of investors in Kasenengwa Constituency signifies the enabling environment that the Government under the Patriotic Front Party has created to improve the livelihood of people in rural areas.
Meanwhile Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone says government attaches great importance to the efforts that private institutions are making in the industrialization of the region.
Speaking when Cargill Zambia General Manager, Lezanne` Vazyl paid a courtesy call at his office yesterday, Mr. Sichone cited Cargill Zambia as a dependable institution in thriving the economy of the region.
He says that for many years, the region has not been adding value to the larger scale production of the province, which has led to the minimal returns of the produce of cash crops.
Mr. Sichone urged Cargill and other companies working with small holder farmers to enhance technology among the farmers so that they move with the dynamic trends of the world.
Meanwhile Cargill Zambia General Manager, Lezanne Vazyl said the institution remains committed to supporting small holder farmers with fertilizer, seeds and chemicals for maize and cotton production.
She further stated that the company is working hard to tie the total supply chain on the commodities they work with from the farmer.
Ms. Vazyl was quick to point out that government has created an enabling environment for the company to positively contribute to the Job creation.
She said the political stability and the accessibility of senior government officers, plays a pivotal role in enhancing the economy of the province.