About 2-hundred small scale farmers of in three districts of Western Province have been trained in drip irrigation and crop management.
The farmers from Senanga, Limulunga and Nalolo districts have been trained by the Barotse Ranching and Cropping of Senanga district in partnership with Impulse Africa.
Barotse Ranching and Cropping Agronomist Johnson Tembo said the training follows Vice President Inonge Wina’s call on the private sector in the Province to work with government, small holder farmers and other stakeholders to promote agriculture in the country and ensure that Zambia becomes the hub for the region in terms of agriculture produce.
Mr. Tembo said the training was to ensure that small scale farmers in the Province are transformed to another level of farming and become the farm’s out grower farmers who should be growing the products to be sold in the commercial outlet’s markets like Shoprite, Pick and Pay and for exports.
He said his company which already has a 10-years contract with Shoprite and other commercial markets cannot meet the demand required hence the engagement of the Ministry of Agriculture and Musika so as to go into the out-grower’s scheme.
Mr. TEMBO is hopeful that the knowledge imparted to the farmers during the training will enable them to grow high crops such as tomatoes, cabbages, onion, pumpkin, watermelon, and butter nuts because they are needed in commercial markets.
Meanwhile, Technical adviser for NETAFIM South Africa Nambwale Kalunga who was one of the facilitators said his company came on board to offer support and introduce the irrigation kits and sensitize the farmers.
Mr. Kalunga has encouraged the participants to do farming as a business, not just for consumption,
And a farmer from Limulunga Royal Village in Limulunga District Pumulo Lutangu said the kind of lessons imparted in the farmers will make them realize that farming is a business.