…relegate the hoe to the museum, ensure rural areas are empowered with tillers.

Government has budgeted 200billion Kwacha for the 2017/2018 farming season.

Dora Siliya, the minister of agriculture said the finances indicate government’s commitment to improve the country’s farming industry.

She urged the nation to grow agriculture from subsistence to being more commercial.

Siliya recently revealed that government has separated vulnerable farmers from commercial ready farmers, as government rollout and irrigation and mechanisation supported blueprint.

She said three water harvesting sites have been constructed to capture rain water, adding that through irrigation, crop production could be enhanced.

In addition, government has committed to ensure use of improved mechanism in farming, as opposed to the use of the hoe.

Siliya said the decision was in line with AU proposal to relegate the hoe to the museum and ensure rural areas are empowered with tillers.

Reports indicates that government will in 2018 use the $40 million loan from EXIM bank of India purely for mechanisation in agriculture and irrigation farming.

Siliya said Africa has realized the need to support agriculture and utilise its potential to create jobs and wealth.

She said in Zambia, Agriculture was the main stay of the economy and measures had been put in place to grow the sector, adding that declarations such as the Malabo declaration that demands that each country’s budget targets 10 percent towards the agriculture sector must be supported.

Zambia has already made tremendous progress as the agriculture sectors budget keeps growing every year.

This year, government has promised start the distribution of farming inputs early for farmers to prepare adequately for the 2017/2018 farming season.

Meanwhile government has announced that they have put in place an e-voucher programme to ensure timely and effective distribution of resources to farmers.

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