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BuyZed calls for more investment in crop diversification

• Zambia has been a mono-crop specifically growing of maize.
• Maize does not have much value as compared to other cash crops.
• Government must invest more in crop diversification.

BuyZed Campaign has advised government to invest more resources in crop diversification programs.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Organization Founder Evans Ngoma noted that the country has for a long time depended on growing maize which does not have much value compared to other cash crops.
Mr. Ngoma said encouraging farmers to go into crop diversification is the only possible way for the country to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Zambia as a country, we have been a mono-crop specifically growing of maize and maize does not have much value as compared to these other cash crops. And so the only way possible for us to add more GDP of our country, is by encouraging farmers to go into crop diversification,” Mr. Ngoma said.
He also stated that Zambia must take a leaf from countries like Malawi and Zimbabwe that grow much of tobacco which is a high value crop, and encourage more of crop diversification.
“You compared very well with Malawi and Zimbabwe, these two countries are into growing much of tobacco and tobacco is a high value crop. So equally here in Zambia, if we encourage much of crop diversification, then we will realize quite substantial per hectarage that will cascade into a bigger contribution to the GDP of our country. So going forward, we would like to encourage government to invest more in crop diversification,” he stated.
And Mr. Ngoma stressed the need for the country to start increasing the hectarage in order to be on the same level with the neighboring nations.
“We have seen lately through the Farmer Input Support Program they have been distributing seed varieties such as maize, sorghum, millet, soyabeans and groundnuts. That is the way to go, all we need to do now is to begin to increase the hectarage, we must also be at par with these other nations that are surrounding us in order for us to increase the hectarage,” Mr. Ngoma said
According to an international development economist, Zambia’s agricultural contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 was 2.73% percent, while neighboring countries were Zimbabwe 5.07%, Angola 7.3%, Namibia 9.03%, Malawi 21.09%, Mozambique 26.03%, and Tanzania 26.74%.

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