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NEW PF MANIFESTO PUTS PREMIUM ON AGRICULTURE

By Marvin Chanda Mberi

In the times of antiquities and more than four decades after independence, agricultural sector has been widely seen as the preserve of the low income earners.

However, the post 2011 era brought about a paradigm shift and transformative approach with regard to public perception about agriculture.

Agriculture is now among the chased after income earning initiatives and it is slowly identifying itself as the lucrative hobby among Zambians from different station in life.

Ever since its election, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has made various strides aimed at reforming the agriculture sector.

The agricultural sector is no longer seen as the default way of income earning but its commercial face is slowly but surely unfolding.

This is attributed to the knowledge base which has been expanded among the Zambians and the variety of agricultural alternatives that have been presented.

Perusal of page 15 of the PF manifesto (2021-26) has demonstrated political will by aiding the marginalized people in society to secure there meaningful participation in the diversified agricultural activities.

The import of page 15 is to among other things, establish an Agricultural institution to support the agricultural sector with bias toward youth and women farmers.

It is clear that once the PF mandate is renewed after the general elections, the PF Government seeks “to embark on a number of institutional that will elevate Zambia as a food basket of Southern Africa.

Agricultural diversification will only be harnessed by putting in place necessary institutions in place which will enable diversification.

The capacitation of the Zambia Research institute (ZARI), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture is a progressive way of establishing the agriculture driven Zambia in the years to come.

ZARI is the largest Agriculture Research institute and it has over 10 research station across the country and its principal aims are to develop and adopt crop, soil and plant protection technologies and to provide high quality, appropriate and cost effective services to farm.

It is clear with the environment for knowledge base the data collected from evidence based research, there is an assurance of having an a diversified agricultural sector.

The promise of promoting the graduation of 100, 000 small holder farmers to commercial agriculture per year as promised in the 2021-26 PF manifesto will therefore soon become a reality.

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