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GOVERNMENT should not just dish out relief food to people to avert hunger but must engage farmers on investing in winter farming, says Small-Scale Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) executive director, Boyd Moobwe.

 Mr Moobwe said while distributing relief was a good idea, there was need for the State to find a lasting solution to the problem.

Mr Moobwe said though the Ministry of Agriculture had only announced a 16 percent maize shortfall, the impact of the drought on agriculture would be felt by 68 percent if the government did not provide economic incentives to affected areas.

Mr Moobwe said once the overall performance and benefits to the country’s agricultural sector would improve if the farmer were engaged to invest into winter farming.

“Although the Ministry of Agriculture has announced a maize short fall by 16 percent, the drought impact on agriculture will be felt by 68 percent if Government will not provide economic incentives to affected areas,” said Mr Moobwe. Mr Moobwe said the impact of the drought on Zambia’s agriculture would not be felt if Government implements measures to empower the local farmers.

He also called on the private sector to adopt diversified farming to ensure that they still continue farming in spite of the drought.

He said his organisation was ready to support and supplement government efforts in helping small scale farmers attain their objectives of feeding the nation.

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