By Staff Writer
Kanchibiya Member of Parliament Sunday Chanda has urged Government to prioritize the transformation of farming blocks located in different parts of the country into crop processing centers.
Mr Chanda said Zambia has farming blocks established by Government under the farm block development programme (FBDP).
He said transforming farming blocks like Manshya Farm block located in Kanchibiya Constituency into crop processing centers will also create jobs.
Mr Chanda said it will also contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as Zambia aspires to become the food basket not just of the region but internationally too.
He said crop processing centers in rural areas will address rural poverty and turning the tide where rural economies have become zones of economic misery.
“I wish to urge Government and other stakeholders that there is no greater agenda in Zambia today than to seriously tackle the underdevelopment and misery for these in rural areas. I am therefore making a clarion call on government and private sector to unlock farming blocks and transform rural areas to zones of economic prosperity. With farming blocks thriving, Zambia can also effectively reverse urban migration overtime,” he said.
Mr Chanda said Government needs to address linkages between agriculture and the food industry.
He has since made some recommendations to this effect as follows.
- Transforming farming blocks across the country into crop processing Zones for agribusinesses and food manufacturing industries and other agro-related industries in the entire value chain.
2. To prioritize providing requisite infrastructure such as roads, energy, irrigation, rail, and ICT to help reduce the business costs for food processing and agro-related industries in the entire value.
3. Through CEEC, to construct Industrial Yards in these crop processing zones.
4. Provide incentives for the private sector in the food processing and agro-related industries to move into these farming blocks as crop processing zones.
5. To promote establishment of aggregation centres especially in rural areas in order to create markets for farmers’ produce. This will support creation of local industries and the development of well-integrated agricultural value chains, with supportive logistics, including warehousing/aggregation centres and cold chains, etc.