THERE is no doubt that agriculture is the only sector that assuredly and truly can help lessen poverty in Zambia.
That is so because the majority of Zambians, especially in the rural areas, depend on it for their livelihood.
It is for this reason that government has put much weight on developing agriculture to achieve sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in the country.
Government’s goal therefore should be to increase and diversify agriculture production and productivity to raise the share of its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) much higher for the betterment of the economy.
Indeed time is now for government to transmute the agriculture sector for the benefit of Zambians as it has the potential not just to feed its people but to generate forex for the nation also.
Even the so-much talked about modification programme from copper-dependency to agriculture will not be realized if no pragmatic action is taken to appreciate this potential.
But to achieve that, we think, farmers will need support, especially in delivering farming input on time that so that they can plant for their next farming season and push agriculture activities to higher levels.
Prompt delivery of inputs, coupled with detailed information on climate smart agriculture, will truly contribute towards adequate agriculture production.
We think that climate smart agriculture is a good starting point and solution to good harvests despite the droughts that prevailed in many parts of Zambia during the last farming season.
But for now we think early distribution of inputs will enable farmers plan and plant on time and have better yields and contribute to the wellbeing of our national economy.
So the hollers from Katete farmers in Eastern Province to Government to quickly distribute farming inputs before the onset of rains are well founded.
Headman Kalinde (Adrian Banda) who was representing fellow farmers, said he was saddened that most farming seasons, they received their farming inputs late and that it was difficult for them to achieve good yields.
In an interview with the Sun, Headman Kalinda said farmers also faced serious challenges when planning for farming seasons because they never received their inputs on time.
“We are appealing to Government that before the rainy season starts we should have all the farming inputs for this season. Most of the time the inputs come late and this really disturbs our plans as farmers,” he said
Headman Kalinde said that so far this year they had not started received farming input in the area.
He further explained that some cooperatives in the area had not received the forms meant for inputs because they were not enough.
Headman Kalinde said one of the cooperatives that was affected was Kazala Cooperative, which had about 185 farmers and that only 106 had received forms to apply for the inputs and that the rest had nothing.
He said it was very difficult for the farmers to get inputs without the forms and that was why most farmers appealed to Government to come on board and increase the allocation of inputs to farmers.
It is possible too that it is not only Katete famers facing this pickle but government should quickly work round the clock and deliver inputs on time to achieve sustainable pro-poor agricultural development and reduce poverty levels in the nation. Agriculture is the future of Zambia because it is the only sector that undoubtedly as