——–The District Administration in Luangwa District has commended Government for supporting the agricultural sector despite the challenges of droughts and the human/animal conflict the area experiences.
Luangwa District Council Secretary, Given Muleya, said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Water and Sanitation Officer, Lameck Likuwa, during the farmer Field Day held at Alfred Chiwala’s farm in Mphuka area over the weekend.
Mr Muleya thanked government for continuing to support the agricultural sector in Luangwa despite the many challenges that farmers face with the poor rainfall and the human/animal conflict where farmers’ crops are destroyed by wild animals, especially elephants.
He reminded the farmers that despite the many challenges they faced, government had continued supporting them through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) under the Ministry of Agriculture and also through the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
Mr Muleya said the general household food security situation in the district improved in the 2013/2014 farming season as a result of a fairly good harvest despite the adverse climatic conditions, late distribution of farm inputs and the human/animal conflict.
He said this achievement was as a result of the hard work farmers, good agricultural services by the department of agriculture and the good agricultural policies of government which are aimed at supporting small and medium scale farmers.
He urged the farmers to continue fully utilising government programmes so that food security is enhanced and commended them for the good yield that is expected during this farming season.
And Mr Chiwala, owner of the farm where the Farmer Field Day was held, urged fellow farmers to embark on modern ways of farming instead of the old, traditional ways used by fore parents.
Mr Chiwala said he has benefited a lot from what the Department of Agriculture was teaching in encouraging conservation farming and crop diversification.
He said the modern methods of farming will improve their yield despite the poor rainfall patterns that the district experiences most of the farming seasons.
Meanwhile, Chief Mphuka commended cooperating partners, such as ChildFund-Zambia, for supplementing government’s efforts in improving agriculture in Luangwa district.
Speaking at the same Farmer Field Day, Chief Mphuka said he was happy with the support the farmers in the area were receiving from ChildFund-Zambia through the provision of training in all sectors and also provision of the solar fence wire to protect people’s fields from wild animals.
He commended ChildFund-Zambia for solar fencing of 355 hectares and 512 hectares of farming land in Kavalamanja and Mphuka respectively which he said has benefited a lot of farmers from wild animals, especially elephants.
The chief, however, appealed to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to find a lasting solution to the human/animal conflict in the district as a lot of human life and crops have been lost.
Chief Mphuka complained that people spend sleepless nights guarding their fields from wild animals, especially monkeys and wild pigs, as these easily pass through the solar fence.