By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) says the farming community is elated with the president’s inclination towards protecting farmers if they increase their production.
ZNFU President Jervis Zimba said recently the head of state President Edgar Lungu made a pronouncement on Friday 26th March, 2021 that he will not allow the importation of agricultural produce that the country is self-sufficient in.
Mr Zimba said the message could not have come at a better time as the Union has seen considerable effort by the farming community producing more produce like Onions and potatoes.
He said Zambia is capable of growing many commodities with the right policy incentives as the one announced by the Head of state.
He has called on the Ministry of Agriculture and allied agencies to take the pronouncement as a strategy for all commodities the Union has identified as areas that has capacity to produce particularly in the Fruit and Vegetable sector.
Mr Zimba said reducing on importations will have a profound impact on easing deterioration of the local currency exchange rate and improve the balance of payments accounts.
He said Zambia has capacity to produce all its domestic food and manufacturing requirements.
“We are aware that production of certain commodities is limited by climatic conditions and seasonal fluctuations, as such, Imports of those commodities must be a preserve of periods when we have lean supply which is to be determined by a broad stakeholder engagement process. Zambia is on a firm path of growth in the agriculture sector which if coupled with sustained right policy incentives and business conducive environment will see a realization of the potential that is sort after,” he said.