The Swedish Co-operative Centre (SCC) has stated that Zambia could support poverty-stricken small-scale farmers if it ran its farms as a business venture
SCC has partnered with the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) to improve income for small-scale farmers in rural areas and strengthen farmers’ associations.
SCC CEO Anneli Rogeman said focusing on farming as a business would aid farmers in improving production and enhancing diversification.
Rogeman noted, “Poverty can only be reduced by learning how to do business and knowing its importance… Globally, we are operating in 25 countries and Zambia is one of the poorest countries.”
Rogeman said that with the majority of Zambians being poor and depending on agriculture for their livelihood, improving the market and production had the potential to increase incomes for smallholder farmers and people in rural areas.
“Zambia has potential to become an important player in reducing poverty for the whole of southern Africa. Zimbabwe that was once the region’s bread basket is currently facing challenges,” she said.
Evelyn Nguleka, a representative of ZNFU, implored small-scale farmers to grow plenty of food to feed the country.
“The country depends on you the farmer - ‘No farmer, No food, No future’. Let’s improve the health of Zambia because it depends on us farmers,” she said.
ZNFU executive director Ndambo Ndambo said a country needs small-scale, emergent and commercial farmers.
Ndambo commented, “The union’s objective is to see small-scale farmers graduate into emergent farmers. If Zambia faced a drought for about 60 days, the country would be forced to import food because small-scale farmers would have no crops as they lack irrigation facilities.”