Solwezi acting District Commissioner Chipawa Chipawa has called for value addition on agricultural products through processing.
Mr Chipawa said there was need for value addition on agricultural products as agricultural production was not sufficient to bring wealth creation at an individual farmer level.
“Value addition is about processing our produce to come up with other commodities that appeal to consumers,” he said.
Mr. Chipawa said food processing presented an opportunity to establish appropriate small scale and sustainable processing businesses that required little capital investment.
He said it was regrettable that farmers tend to end at production of raw produce adding that value addition had been the missing link in the road to prosperity among small scale farmers.
“Agro processing has great potential for job creation, wealth creation as well as poverty alleviation,” he said.
Mr Chipawa was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Solwezi District Aids coordination Advisor (DACA) Danstan Sawomba during the St Francis Value Addition Exhibit Held at Saint Francis Agricultural Camp.
He said the Patriotic Front Government was committed to implementing strategies that would alleviate the challenges that hinder the full exploitation of the agricultural industry.
Mr Chipawa said through the farmer input support programme (FISP), government had continued to work towards facilitating easy access to agricultural input.
“Under FISP, Solwezi district has already received 20,500 x 50 kg bags of D-Compound fertilizer out of a total requirement of 26,000x 50 kg bags, this is to benefit 12,000 farmers in the district.
He said in line with government’s desire to promote agriculture, the district had received various agro processing equipment which include a peanut roaster, cassava chipper, cassava mill, peanut blancher and a plastic seal.
Mr Chipawa commended the St Francis Agricultural Block for putting together an innovative platform.
He praised Kansanshi Mine and SEEDCO for working closely with the farmers in the area to ensure increased agricultural productivity.
“The initiative is a source of hope that various interventions put in place by government and stakeholders are resulting in positive growth and change,” he said.