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ProAgri Zambia 42

ProAgri Zambia

Government tell us they are all about developing agriculture, with their most important focus the upliftment of subsistence farmers to become small and medium-scale farmers.

A smallscale and bigger farmer can start to produce a surplus, which has multiple obvious benefits for the government, like more tax income, economic growth and food sustainability and security.   

Yet, we don’t see that in the actions of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). If you want to stimulate farming, you at least need to allow farmers to sell their products at a competitive price. It will have an immediate positive effect on the growth and productivity of farms and all the secondary industries around agriculture. But, alas, it is one of the basics that government does not understand, and it is not the first time this happens…  

After the recent announcement of the Food Reserve Agency to offer their producers only K110 per 50 kg bag, we feel betrayed. No, we ARE betrayed! Farmers need at least K130 per bag to be able to recover their costs. K140 will be a fair and decent price. If other off-takers can pay a decent price and even pay cash, surely government can do the same, or even better.  

The ZNFU is handling the situation and had a recent discussion with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on this matter. We are holding our breaths. Government has to remember that the climate over the past four years was not very farmer friendly. They should also remember that progressing farmers mean a progressing economy.  

It was a challenge to contain the many stories and articles in this jampacked edition. We started off with a fertigation and a water sensor series. The bluetongue article is more of a warning to vaccinate against this deadly disease. BlackGold tells us why insurance on a farm is just as important is in any other business.

Farm smartly!

Du Preez de Villiers – dupreez@proagri.co.za

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