Patriotic Front lawmaker, Chanda, proposes scrapping of duty on agricultural equipment


A lawmaker, Sunday Chanda, has proposed the scrapping of duties on agricultural mechanization, irrigation, animal feed technology and equipment.

Kanchibiya Constituency Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament Chanda said this was one sure way of adapting to climate change.

Chanda in a statement issued in Lusaka on Sunday stated that over-reliance on rainfed agriculture was suicidal.

He noted that Zambia had an opportunity to transform its agricultural sector by engaging in a heightened mechanization agenda.

“We wish to call on the government to respond magnificently to the plight of climate change by removing import duties on agricultural mechanization, irrigation and animal feed technologies and equipment,” chanda said.

The lawmaker called on government through the Ministries of Finance and National Planning and Agriculture to provide a climate change adaptation mechanism to the nation.

Chanda stated that this should include irrigation, strategies for technological transfer, promotion of seed varieties as well as diversifying the country’s crop portfolio.

“Zambia is sitting at a time in history when it cannot afford delay on it’s response,” he said.

Chanda noted the need to promote other climate resistant and nutritious foods over and beyond maize like millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, cassava, sweet potatoes among others.

Read More: Small-Scale farmers advised to enhance productivity through mechanisation

He stated that a time had come for the government to rethink the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

“This is in order to facilitate farmers’ access to agricultural technologies which will ensure food security at the household and national levels,” the Parliamentarian emphasized.

Chanda stated that this should just be about national food security but nutrition development as well.

He also called on government to introduce incentives towards academic research in higher learning institutions to support local production of these technologies.

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