United Party For National Development (UPND) founding member, Lovemore Kanyama, has appealed to farmers in Chirundu and Siavonga to switch to irrigation farming system.
Kanyama stated that this was to counter the dry spell that had hit the two districts of Southern Province during this rainy season.
The former Siavonga District Commissioner spoke to Zambia Monitor in Siavonga on Thursday.
He said the 2023-2024 rain pattern was not encouraging to the farmers hence the need to immediately come up with a plan that would ensure that people have food.
“I wish to also call on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committees for both Siavonga and Chirundu to seriously consider giving loans to the farmers along the Zambezi river and lake kariba,” Kanyama pleaded.
He stated that this was in order for the farmers to acquire irrigation pumps and other farming equipment which would in the end enable them increase food production.
Kanyama stated that the dry spell in the two districts were currently facing would highly affect the 2023-2024 farming season’s crop production.
He further appealed to farmers not to lose hope as the planting period was still open and more rains were being expected to come.
“I want to encourage the farmers to consider planting early maturing crops and not just concentrating on maize, but other farm produce that can as well be sold to the markets,” Kanyama advised.
He also called on farmer to diversify and grow other crops apart from maize, such as watermelon, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, onions, millet and okra which have a ready market.
Kanyama further appealed to Agricultural Officers in the two districts to visit farmers along the Zambezi river and see how best they can be assisted in promoting the irrigation system.
“I also want to appeal to the farmers in the two districts to always pay attention to rainfall partner updates from the radio stations and television,” he said.
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