WOMEN REFILLING ZAMBIA’S FOOD BASKET THROUGH AGRICULTURE

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WOMEN REFILLING ZAMBIA’S FOOD BASKET THROUGH AGRICULTURE

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By lumbiwe Mwanza

 Think equal, build smart, innovate for change, is the theme for this year’s international women’s day that falls on the 8th March 2019.

 Indicators of the 2016 Population female in Zambia, was reported at 50.38 percent.

 Women from various sectors of the economy have continued to call for change and equal representation with their male counterparts.

 The SADC Protocol which Zambia signed in 2008, requires that women achieve 50 percent representation in decision-making positions.

 Taking up the 50 percent representation slot in Governance structures entails that woman need to be innovative and able to contribute to National Development.

 A women organization called Community for Human Development has pledged commitment to contribute to the growth of the economy through scaling-up its Agricultural activities.

 “We want to explore and cultivate high-value nutritious crops in order to be food secure,” Organization  Executive Director Kabandula  Moonde said.

 Mrs. Moonde said if women are to be innovative and bring the change they want to see they ought to contribute to the Agriculture Sector.

 She adds that moving away from total dependence from  Maize and exploring other crops like Moringa, Cassava or Sorghum is the key towards having a robust Agriculture Sector.

 ”as an organization we are currently growing Moringa which is a great cash crop unlike Maize,” Mrs. Moonde explained.

 Stakeholders such as Hivos Zambia have been promoting crop diversification and encouraging the production of potential cash crops such as Millet, Cassava, and Sorghum.

 Meanwhile Speaking on the sidelines of Non-governmental Gender Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Open Day held in Lusaka recently, Council, Board Chairperson Mary Mulenga said Women should strive to grow high nutritional crops in order to be food secure at a household level.

 She further urged women that have access to information on how women can play a role in contributing to the local economy to share such information in order to promote productivity.

 ‘As women, we have to be able to share information with others if we are going to effectively contribute to National Development, Mrs. Mulenga said.

 In the meantime, Zambia Alliance of Women Executive Director Edah Chimya assured commitment towards supplementing Government’s effort of promoting cop diversification among women.

 “As this year’s theme for international women’s day concerning innovation, we are strengthening our outreach programs to engage Women Farmers on best cultivation techniques and the importance of growing Cash Crops,” Mrs. Chimya said.

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Mrs. Chimya adds that women Farmers should strive to be innovative by focusing on diverse crop production of high nutrition value.

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