Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum(ESAFF)Zambia Coordinator Henry Singili has observed the need to urgently build capacity among smallholder farmers to negotiate on various government agriculture policies in order to meet their needs and help improve productivity in the sector.
Mr. Singili is of the view that most peasant farmers in Southern Africa lack the capacity to negotiate for their needs in the sector resulting in low productivity.
Speaking during a courtesy call on Monze District Commissioner Cyprian Hamanyanga this morning, Mr Singili said building capacity for farmers to air their grievances with a united voice is paramount if the agriculture sector is to register a sustained positive growth.
He highlighted that farmers continue to face challenges in accessing inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) due to limited opportunities to directly engage government on issues that affect them.
However, Mr. Singili says his organization is prepared to capacitate smallholder farmers to enable them have negotiating powers on issues affecting them including having an input in the budget process.
And Mr. Hamanyanga who was represented by District Administrative Officer Gorreti Bbalo said Monze has thousands of small scale farmers adding that building capacity was crucial to addressing numerous challenges faced by farmers in the agriculture sector.
Mr. Hamanyanga assured the organisation that government is committed to improve the agriculture sector through various interventions such as FISP, Improvement of extension services among others.
ESSAF is a consortium of small scale farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa and aims at promoting indigenous crops and building capacity among farmers to improve their welfare and operates in 15 countries among them is Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Author: Henry Singili