CHIEF NYAMPHANDE TALKS VALUE ADDITION
..following successful bumper harvest due to early distribution of farming inputs
Saturday…June 13 2021 (Smart Eagles)
Chief Nyamphande of the Nsenga people of Petauke District, in Eastern province has called for value addition, and a shift from producing only mealie meal as a by-product of maize to other valuable products.
The traditional leader has observed that the successful bumper harvest requires for a strategic approach that will ensure more products are produced from maize.
Chief Nyamphande said this when Neria’s Investments Limited general manager,Martin Chaikatisha called on him at his palace to discuss the status of the distribution of farming inputs in the province, among other wide ranging developmental discussions centred on agriculture.
The traditional leader said his desire is to scale up agriculture in his chiefdom by not only producing mealie meal from maize, but to equally advocate for serious crop diversification.
He said Zambia has the potential to make corn flakes, among other products for the sake of value addition and to promote diversification.
The traditional leader further said the practical measures to scale up agricultural production in his chiefdom is to encourage for increased investiments that would facilitate for setting up of maize processing facilities and to also shift from one crop to two crops per year to include soya beans on top of maize.
Chief Nyamphande additionally wants his subjects to graduate from peasant to commercial farming to not only promote domestic, but national food security.
“We have got, by comparison, some of the most fertile soils, so for us our mainstay is agriculture. What we are pushing is agriculture, anybody else who is coming to tell us other things, to be honest, we are not really interested,” Chief Nyamphande said.
And the traditional leader has welcomed the 150 Kwacha maize floor price, which he says will empower the 1,149 estimated farmers in his chiefdom for them to be self sustainable.
He is happy also that through Neria’s Investiments, farmers for consecutive farming seasons have been able to access farming inputs early to allow for adequate preparation.
Chief Nyamphande is optimistic that, with the right partners, his chiefdom with a population of an estimated 65,000 people would move agriculture to another level through continued government’s support.
“In my chiefdom, when I am driving, I am a very happy and proud chief because anybody who was not lazy has got maize,” he said.
And speaking earlier,Mr Chaikatisha appreciated Chief Nyamphande for his agriculture vision aimed at transforming his chiefdom and assured him that Neria’s Investments will continue to honor it’s obligation with regards early distribution of farming inputs to support progressive ideas.
“President Lungu has been consistent with policies in the agriculture sector,and that is why as Neria’s Investiments, we will ensure that we continue on this path to promote efficiency so that farmers can prepare early and promote enhanced agricultural productivity” Mr Chaikatisha said.