By SARAH MWANZA –
THE Small Scale Farmers Development Association (SAFADA) has called for conducive policies that protect local manufacturers who add value to local farm produce.
SAFADA president Boyd Moobwe said favourable policies will enable manufacturers buy more agricultural produce from the farmers at a good price.
Speaking to Sunday Times during the week, Mr Moobwe said Government should consider enacting laws that limit essential farming products from imports such as cooking oil to help strengthen demand for local farm produce.
He said the move would help expand productivity in the value-addition and allow manufacturing firms buy more local farm produce like soya beans, thereby contributing to economic diversification.
“There must be conducive policies that protect local manufacturers who add value to local farm produce. This will enable manufacturers buy more agricultural produce from the farmers at a good price,” Mr Moobwe said.
Mr Moobwe said a strong market for local agricultural produce would foster economic growth as the generated revenue would circulate within the economy resulting in job creation and improved living conditions among the people, especially rural growers.
Mr Moobwe said strong demand for farm produce would also lead to increased participation of small scale farmers in the value-addition chain, providing predictable supplies to the market.
“This should be accompanied by promoting the ‘Buy Zambia’ campaign which can result in an increase in consumption of locally produced commodities,” he said.
Mr Moobwe said the association fully supported Government’s efforts towards diversifying the economy to agriculture production as this promised to positively impact on a huge chunk of the population.
He further emphasised a need for a more secure land tenure system that will ensure farmers sustain their activities without disturbance through evictions.
Mr Moobwe said local production will improve farmers’ capacity and help Zambia develop standards in supplying the bigger market while keeping the revenue within the economy for additional investments.