Prabdeep Bajwa, president of Africa Middle East at Corteva Agriscience said: “We believe in the African opportunity. Clearly Zambia is on the move and Zambia is a very, very important site for Corteva Agriscience. For us, quality seed and making sure farmers get the best product is the most important, and this site is testament to that. We are in the business of enriching the lives of our farmers,” he stated.
“We need to make sure we bring the best research to Africa. We bring global science; we adapt it to make sure we have the best possible solutions for the market. We are committed to agriculture; we are committed to Africa; and we are committed to Zambia,” he reiterated.
The pure agriculture company has pledged to continue offering seed and crop protection solutions to enable farmers to maximise every hectare and get the most out of every season.
And speaking after he toured the refurbished Corteva Agriscience plant in Lusaka today, Agriculture Minister Hon. Michael Katambo said that government remained committed to working with the private sector as well as providing a conducive environment for them to operate, so that they can contribute to the economic development of the country.
“Our policy as government is to provide a conducive environment for the private sector to operate and thrive. This is with a view to enabling the agriculture sector to contribute significantly to the overall economic development agenda of the country,” he said.
“In line with the agriculture policy objective of increasing agricultural production and productivity, government is promoting the use of improved crop varieties and certified seed, as well as promoting research activities for our farmers. I am pleased to note that Corteva Agriscience is undertaking such activities in collaboration with our research institutions,” the Minister continued.
He added that by improving agricultural productivity and profitability, Zambians will be provided with a foundation for farming as a sustainable livelihood that meets their day-to-day needs.
The Corteva Agriscience brand, which supplies crop protection products as well as Pannar and Pioneer seeds to farmers in Zambia, was officially launched in Zambia last year in a high-profile event attended by government officials and representatives of the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) and Conservation Farming Unit (CFU).
Speaking at the same event Prabdeep Bajwa, president of Africa Middle East at Corteva Agriscience said that “Corteva and key collaborators like Zambia National Farmers Union and the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) and Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) share a commitment to using new innovative approaches to make the farmers in Zambia and the agriculture value chains more productive and sustainable.”
Corteva’s Zambian plant has the production capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes of maize per annuum, but with the potential for further expansion. Bajwa said, “We are committed to growing agriculture in Zambia, working with stakeholders and farmers on the ground. We are committed to helping the government and people of Zambia meet the nation’s food security target of five million metric tonnes.”
There is a significant need to increase food productivity in Zambia, to help the country achieve the target of 5 million metric tonnes per annum. Maize is Zambia’s staple food; grown by almost all smallholder farmers. The primary challenge in the maize value chain is access to quality improved maize seeds and crop protection products to mitigate the effects of climate change, drought and local pests like fall armyworm.
“As the region increasingly focuses on food security, we look forward to seeing Zambia’s food and agriculture industries thrive, and Corteva Agriscience taking the lead in securing the future of food in East South-Central Africa,” concluded Bajwa.
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