ZNFU urges farmers to access mechanisation, irrigation funds

By Staff Reporter

The Zambia National Farmers Union says there is need to sensitize farmers on how to access mechanization and irrigation funding from the government.
ZNFU Media and Public Relations Manager Calvin Kaleyi said that farmers are not accessing these funds because they lack information.

Speaking when he featured on Money FM’s Power, Policy and Money programme this morning, Kaleyi said the onus was on all stakeholders who included government and farmers’ unions to ensure that they educate the farmers on the availability of funds to promote mechanization and irrigation.

“This should not be left to the government alone but all stakeholders should take it upon themselves to help the farmers,” he said.

He urged farmers to embrace mechanization and irrigation in order to enhance productivity.

“There is Mechanization Fund sitting at the Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Irrigation Fund under the Irrigation Development and Support Project (IDSP). These funds can be accessed by the farmers but most of them are not aware of this hence the need for all of us stakeholders to educate the farmers on such funds,” he said.

He said that policy inconsistency in the agriculture sector discourages farmers.
Kaleyi added that issues to do with the ban on export of maize and mealie meal were some of the issues that were hindering the growth of the agriculture sector.

He further said that closing the borders discouraged the farmers and hence the need for the government to ensure that they motivate the farmers to produce more.