INCREASE AGRICULTURE RISK MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES IN ZAMBIA –EXPERTS SAY

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INCREASE AGRICULTURE RISK MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES IN ZAMBIA –EXPERTS SAY

Parm1

 

By Lumbiwe Mwanza
THERE is urgent need to increase agricultural resilience   through better risk management in Zambia in the face of   continued failed weather patterns countrywide, experts have   said.

Recently a high level meeting on the dissemination of the   final results of the Platform for Agricultural Risk   Management (PARM) was held organized by PARM in collaboration   with Ministry of Agriculture on Agricultural risk management in Zambia.

The meeting was designed to disseminate the findings,   recommendations and proposed investment plans to support   implementation of tools identified to strengthen Agriculture   Risk Management in Zambia.

The two studies were focused on enhancing the Zambian   Warehouse Receipt Systems (WRS) and on improving access to  agricultural risk information among stakeholders and   smallholder producers In Zambia.

The meeting had representative from ministry of Agriculture,   ministry of Finance, ministry of fisheries and Livestock,   Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, technical and    financial development partners namely World Food Program, IFAD, World Bank, DAO, GIZ , farmer organizations, academic and research institutions and civil society organizations.

During the meeting, it was Agreed that effective agricultural   risk management strategies play a vital role in fostering   productive and sustainable investment across the food and   agricultural value chain in order to ensure food and nutrition   security, eliminate hunger and reduce poverty, and   contribute effectively to the Gross Domestic Product(GDP)   growth.

Speaking at the event, Ministry of Agriculture permanent   secretary Songowayo Zyambo said 200,000 hectares of land has   been put under irrigation countrywide to mitigate the   current effects of droughts and dry spells being   experienced.

Mr Zyambo said Zambia is seeing a surge of interest in irrigation among small- scale farmers as climate change   brings more erratic weather and demand for a reliable   harvest is growing.

As a mitigating factor, Mr Zyambo said the ministry is   promoting irrigation development programs intended to assist   farmers in the face of failed rainfall.

The Seventh National Development Plan targets to bring 100,000 hectares of land under irrigation by 2021.

He noted that Zambia has the potential to bring 2.75 million   hectares of land under irrigation adding that to date 200,000 are under irrigation.

The permanent secretary said boosts in irrigation could help   protect the country’s food security in the face of extreme   weather conditions driven by climate change and be an engine   of development.

Mr. Zyambo further challenged scientists at all levels to   up their game in the fight against the effects of climate   change through the development of appropriate technologies   for the small scale farmers countrywide.

He said climate change is reality and has come to stay hence   the need for all stakeholders to work together and help   mitigate, transfer, share and adapt to risks being faced.

PARM technical specialist Massimo Giovanola said a proper   understanding of the risks faced by the agricultural sector   and effective strategies to manage those risks is vital to   creating a diversified and resilient economy for   sustained growth and economic transformation.

Mr Giovanola said drought, floods, and price volatility   appear to be the principal risks affecting crop Agri-culture   in the country.

He said in terms of the severity and frequency of adverse impacts, and how they affected food security, rural   livelihoods, and the broader economy, these varied somewhat   between agricultural subsectors and between different   regions in Zambia hence the need for a holistic approach in   the agricultural risk management.

In Zambia, more than 60 percent of the population lives in   rural areas and relies on agriculture for their Livelihood.   Agriculture is therefore a key sector for Zambia’s growth   and poverty reduction programs.

Parm1However, with the increase of extreme weather events and   climate change Zambia’s agricultural development is being   affected by human and naturally induced shocks including:   El Nino and La Nina, occurrence of droughts, dry spells and   floods, plant and animal diseases.

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