Zambian Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya commended the Agritech exhibition as an important intervention to accelerate government’s diversification programme. The programme is anchored on agriculture.
“Government is in a hurry to make its robust diversification programme from mining to agriculture a reality, and Agritech is helping to accelerate the realisation of more jobs for Zambians created by the farming sector,” she said.
The show – now in its fourth year – attracted more than 20 000 visitors and showcased cutting-edge farming technology, equipment and techniques.
“The expo presented an opportunity for our local farmers, especially smallholder farmers, to embrace advanced farming techniques to increase production,” Siliya said.
Urging smallholder farmers to move away from traditional farming to mechanisation, Siliya said government will provide an enabling environment for the private sector to supply the local market with modern farming equipment.
According to her, mechanisation will help smallholder farmers earn more money by meeting local and international demand for maize and other products.
On crop diversification, Siliya said there is a need to prioritise cash crops like cotton, cashew nuts, soya beans, cassava and rice. These are now also covered under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
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