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Government challenges farmers to take Agriculture as a business

• It is high time that farmers start looking at farming differently.
• They should consider it as a business.
• Farmers must shift from subsistence farming to greater heights.

Government has challenged smallholder farmers in the country to change their mindset and start looking at agriculture as a business.
Speaking during a media breakfast meeting organized by Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Director-Planning Oscar Chita said farming is a business that can change the lives of farmers and their families.
Mr. Chita stressed the need for farmers to shift from subsistence farming to greater heights.
He further thanked the European Union (EU) and Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund (EZCF) for supporting government policies and objectives in the agriculture sector.
“Back in the years we have only been looking at farming as just a way of living, a way of just having a meal to eat but I think it is high time that our farmers should look at farming differently and consider it as a business that can change their lives so that as you are living in the country that is rich, the farmers can also move from subsistence farmers to greater heights.”
“I must say that the European Union through Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund is on the right track and is doing just that,” Mr. Chita said.
And Self Help Africa Portfolio Manager Mwandizhya Daka said Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund’s global objective is to contribute to increased income and nutrition security for 150, 000 smallholder farmers’ households in rural Zambia, funded by the European Union at a total cost of 26 million Euros over a period of 5 years.
Ms. Daka explained that the project which commenced in 2020, is supporting 40 Agri-enterprises, and is expected to create 8, 000 new jobs in the sector by 2025.
“The rationale for working with SMEs to support smallholder farmers is to achieve sustainable impact, to improve the scale of impact, to take advantage of embedded support among market actors, and to boost industry competitiveness,” she explained.

Speaking at the same event, EU delegation leader Matthias Reusing stated that the project is aimed at promoting value addition by bringing Zambian products into the market.
“The project is about commercialization of smallholder farmers to help them develop a business mind,” Mr. Reusing said.
Meanwhile, Zanaco Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Andrew Muyaba disclosed that the bank recently accessed a 15 million Euro loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) meant to support the agriculture value chain.
Mr. Muyaba explained that everyone in the agriculture value chain is eligible to access funding from the bank under the partnership with the European Investment Bank.
He called on the media to encourage everyone involved in agriculture to take farming seriously so that they can benefit from the available financing to grow their businesses.
“We encourage women in agriculture to apply for the fund, we are also encouraging farmers to set up cooperatives to make it easier for them to access the funding that is available,” Mr. Muyaba stated.
Enterprise Zambia is a Challenge Fund, funded by the European Union, to strengthen agricultural value chains including agroforestry and aquaculture in the country.
The project, run by Self Help Africa and Imani Development, is seeking to integrate 150,000 small scale farmers and producers into sustainable value chains, help them transition to greener and more sustainable Agri-food systems and create more than 8,000 new jobs in the sector over the coming five years.
The institution will also be awarding 10 Zambian companies on Wednesday 17th November, 2021that were selected to receive grants in Call 2.

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