Lack of serious investment in the agriculture sector is worrying says, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Jarvis Zimba.
Addressing farmers during the SEEDCO Farm commercial Field Day in Lusaka West, Mr. Zimba said that it was depressing to see that most of the public research stations were on their death beds, providing no value at all to the sector because there were no researches going on due to lack of funding.
Mr. Zimba said that it was important for all stakeholders in the agriculture sector especially government to appreciate investing in research as it guaranteed and secured the nation’s future in the sector.
“Mr chairman, allow me also to give a special advice to other stakeholders in the agriculture sector particularly the government; as we have seen today that it pays to invest in research as it guarantees and secures the future of the agricultural sector and growth of any nation,” said Mr. Zimba.
He urged government to look at the issue of funding to the agricultural research institutions critically if the focus on the sector was to be measured by deeds and not mere rhetoric.
“Mr. Chairman let us put money where the mouth is. Investment in agriculture sector particularly research is not a reality show, it requires realistic and futuristic ideas and total commitment to the sector which should be evidenced and demonstrated by proper funding,” he said.
Mr. Zimba said it was critical for government to work closely with the private sector like Seedco so as to guarantee the future of the nation in the agriculture sector through increased research in new technologies.
He also revealed that farming communities were also tired of being ambushed with new laws on daily basis through issuance of numerous statutory instruments without consultations with stakeholders.
“This is negatively affecting our farming operations and the sector as whole. Why government is scared of consulting with stakeholders before a law is promulgamated?
If I may ask! As a private sector player we are more than ready to dialogue with government.