Government should explain to farmers the importance and value of innovation and new technology in agriculture to feed the growing world population and, says visiting Czech Republic agriculture minister Marian Jurecka.
Mr Jurecka said Zambia’s agriculture needed improvements in some areas including explaining to farmers the importance of innovation and new technology in farming.
He was speaking during a tour of the ministry of agriculture and livestock stand at the just ended 89th Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show with his Zambian counterpart mr Given Lubinda.
Mr Jurecka was however quick to mention that Zambia had great potential to be self-sufficient in food production.
“I am a farmer and I really love this exhibition and going through the stands talking to your minister I realized that Zambian agriculture has great potential to produce enough food.
“I think the potential is great because the population worldwide is growing There are countries out there which will never be self-sufficient in terms of food production so we should protect the growing population,” he said.
He said apart from in artificial insemination, his country was collaborating with Zambia in many areas. “we can offer more cooperation, it does not just have to be livestock only, it has to be crops as well, it would all depend on my discussion with the minister and see the windows of opportunity.”
Mr Jurecka observed that Zambia had many products that could be successful on the European market and had an advantage to explore the European market without customs barriers.
He also encouraged Zambia to further work on future sanitary and food safety measures in order to be able to place her products successfully on the European markets.
“Some areas need improvements, you have to explain to your farmers that innovation and new technology is important for them and that it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Lubinda said Zambia had the potential to translate its potential into reality.
Mr Lubinda explained that Zambia’s agriculture sector was lacking investment and this is the reason why his ministry had been speaking with other countries to attract better and more investment.
“I am happy that my colleague from the Czech Republic is here and you have been hearing us travelling around the world campaigning. We are doing that because we want to attract better and more investment in the agriculture sector, which is the only way that we can increase productivity,
“What I have seen here today walking through the stands is that indeed we have the ability to translate our potential into reality,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said he would like to find ways to ensure that small-scale farmers increased their productivity to make farming a viable and productive business.