Zambia’s Eastern Province tops maize production
Times.co.zm - Jul 2nd, 11:22
Eastern Province has recorded the highest production in maize, groundnuts and sunflower in the 2012/13 farming season.
Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone said the province was the second largest producer of sorghum and soya beans.
The minister said in Chipata that the province was the third largest rice producer in the country.
He was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Provincial Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Zechariah Luhanga during this year’s 37th Provincial Agricultural and Commercial Show on Saturday.
He said the province was the major producer of agricultural products and had performed well in the previous seasons.
“Eastern Province in particular has experienced good harvest in major crops such as maize, groundnuts, soya beans, cotton, rice and tobacco,” he said.
Mr Sichone said the crops were mainly produced by 161,690 beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) during the last farming season.
He said during the 2013/14 farming season, Government was targeting 164,385 beneficiaries in the province.
Mr Sichone said Government would continue supporting the small-scale farmers through FISP for household food security and income generation.
The minister, however, cautioned farmers not to sell all their food but keep some for consumption.
He encouraged them to make use of the metal silos for improved storage of grain crop as the technology was effective in ensuring that the farmers’ produce was protected against pests.
He said farmers should take various approaches to remain productive, food secure and generate income at household level.
Earlier Provincial Show society chairperson Jonathan Banda said farmers and commercial businesses were facing challenges like poor road network to get their produce to the market.
Chipata District Farmers Association coordinator Virgil Malambo expressed concern that some of the farmers in rural areas were not aware of Government’s floor price of K65 per 50 kilogramme bag of maize.
Mr Malambo urged farmers to sell their maize at K65 per bag which was recommended as the floor price.
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