THE Norwegian government has provided US$27 million to the Zambian government to promote growth in the agriculture sector by enhancing conservation farming. Natural Resources Management Regional Advisor Jan-Erik Studsrod says Norway has continued to increase support to Zambia in a bid to reduce poverty in the country. Mr Studsrod said after a tour of farms in Chikankanta district in Southern Province on Thursday that conservation farming technology has been widely accepted by most farmers in the country.
He said the conservation farming unit enhances conservation farming in the country in a bid to reduce the cost of production.
We signed an agreement with the Zambian government in June last year, to support conservation farming in the country, he said.
And Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU)president Jervis Zimba said conservation farming is aimed at increasing productivity in the agriculture sector.
Mr Zimba said small- scale farmers who have been trained through the CFU have managed to increase their yields which contributed to recent bumper harvests.
He urged government to create attractive incentives towards the agriculture sector, in a bid to attract youths to engage in farming.
Youths will only be attracted to a sector that allows them to make money and conservation farming has helped farmers to earn an income because it allows them to produce more for less, he said.
Mr Zimba said the ZNFU will welcome any support aimed at improving the agriculture sector in the country.
He said conservation farming has also allowed farmers to respond to diversification, as the technology allows them to grow different crops, thereby increasing their source of income.
Meanwhile, a commercial farmer says conservation farming can also be applied at a commercial level.
Adrian Bignell of Bignell farms said conservation farming has greatly reduced the cost of production at his farm and allowed him to produce good quality crops.