The 2013-2014 feed the future research and development programme launched in Eastern Province.

The 2013-2014 feed the future research and development programme has been launched in Eastern Province.
The programme, which is being supported by USAID at a total coast of 18 million United States dollars, was officially opened by Agriculture Minister Robert Sichinga.
The programme is expected to benefit 120 households in Eastern Province and will include crops like orange sweet potato, orange maize cassava and groundnuts.
And speaking during the launch Mr Sichinga emphasized the need to increase crop diversification in the province.
Mr Sichinga says this is the only way to increase agriculture productivity to raise the share of its contribution to the 20 per cent GDP, Gross Domestic Product.
The minister says that Zambia’s agricultural sector is being faced with a lot of challenges which includes low investments, low productions as well as low productivity among the small holder farmers.
He says that the challenges are further worsened by climate change.
Mr Sichinga says that this is the reason why farmers are encouraged to diversify in their crop productivity.
He says that currently farmers focus only on maize which is a drought sensitive and input demanding crop but can be supported with other crops.

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