In this regard, SNV Zambia early this week gathered dozens of farmers, farmers’ organisations and civil society representatives drawn from all provinces at a workshop in Chisamba to empower them with entrepreneurial skills that would help boost agriculture. It is such non state actors’ initiatives that complement government’s efforts in the promotion of poverty reduction and food security.
CUTS International, which was part of the workshop, concurs with the workshop’s recommendations on the dairy sector as they would help farmers contribute to the economic development of the country. Among the recommendations made were, the improvement in extension services, employing supplementary food for the dry season and setting up milk collection centers for farmers to easily sell their produce.
Currently, some parts of the country have no milk collection centers making it difficult for companies that buy milk to collect the product from individual farmers. The dairy sector in Zambia is an infant industry with immense potential that can contribute to economic growth, the creation of jobs and food security if it is properly harnessed.
CUTS International is therefore calling on government and stakeholders to improve on the extension services and help in the setting up of milk collection centers. Dairy farmers are also called upon to form associations that will help coordinate their production and marketing processes.
It is imperative that farmers and already established farmers’ associations take up these steps in promoting dairy farming bearing in mind that government has recognized agriculture as an economic tool to diversify the economy in an effort to attain economic growth.
Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International is a non-governmental organisation which works in such areas as trade and development, competition policy, investment regulation and consumer protection. CUTS Africa Resource Center (CUTS-ARC) was registered in Zambia as a non-governmental organisation in 2000. It is an affiliate of CUTS International based in India.