Vice president Inonge Wina says the agriculture supports the livelihood of the majority across the region were people are directly or indirectly involved in agriculture through trade, transport production or processing. THE agriculture sectors plays a critical role in the development process of the country and the improvement of the population’s livelihood, Vice president Inonge Wina has said.
Ms. Wina was speaking at this year’s symposium for regional small scale farmers yesterday held under the theme ‘The African agriculture mirror reflecting small scale farmers, image.’
The Vice President said agriculture supports the livelihood of the majority across the region were people are directly or indirectly involved in agriculture through trade, transport production or processing.
She further reiterated government’s commitment to the development of the agriculture sector as it holds the greatest potential to poverty reduction and economic emancipation.
“It is time to discard the image of African small scale farmers as being peasant and subsistence … government will continue to implement policies that promote sustainable growth and development in the sector.
“Currently GMO is prohibited by law in this country, and we remain committed to implementation of comprehensive African development programs being implemented by other member states in the region,” Ms. Wina added.
She said government was aware of issues that arise in the agriculture sector and challenges faced by small scale farmers adding that government was ready and willing to listen.
The Vice President also admitted that “there is a trend of land grabbing by governments for investment purposes but this will come to an end and all stakeholders will be involved to stop land alienation.”
“Some chiefs sale land to investors without informing their people, this issue must be looked into by the house of chiefs in order to develop the sector and involve our people,” She added.
And representative for small scale farmers Dorcas Nshonga has asked governments in the region to stop land grabs taking place in the name of investment.
Ms. Shonga said anything that takes away land from the farmers reduces on their capacity to be employed and reduces on the returns of the land.
She also bemoaned the negative impact that foreign products have had on small scale farmers.
“We have recently realized that there is a legislation that criminalises the production, conservation, and recycling, sharing and general use of our traditional deed,” Ms. Shonga said.
She added that policy makers should consult small scale farmers on matters that relate to their development because they are the ones that put them in power.
Ms. Shonga alleged that, “Some policies have invested a lot in destroying our food system and we request government to critically watch on how they are taking over our food system bringing us into a new colony.”
And Chairperson for Alliance Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) Bernard Guri said local farmers must be promoted and supported because the food they produce is a form of identity in each country.
The regional small scales farmers’ symposium is aimed at preserving the culture, seed, sovereignty, identity and dignity of the farmers and also to improve and protect the farmers land.
FIFA GRASSROOTS PROJECT DUE FOR TAKE OFF
The Ministry of Sports and FAZ has laid the ground for FIFA spearheaded grassroots project for youth development.
Ministry of Sports Permanent Secretary Agness Musunga said the project will be under the wings of the Ministry of Education and will target youth from eight years going upwards.
The tripartite agreement will be signed next Wednesday and will formalize the commitment of the parties to work together to implement the FIFA Grassroots Project from 2017-2020.
“The FIFA Grassroots project will cover three parties which is Ministry of Education, Sports and FAZ,” she said.
And FAZ General Secretary Ponga Liwewe said that the project will enhance the development of football.
Liwewe said the move was part of the wider goal of FAZ to develop youth football.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga put youth football on top of his developmental agenda pinning it among his three key areas that involved league restructuring, referees education and youth football on top of his transparency gospel.
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FIFA RESPONDS TO FAZ COMPLAINT ON NIGERIA APPEAL
FIFA has put a close to the debate around the complaint lodged by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) over an Augustine Mulenga disallowed goal in the 1-0 loss against Nigeria in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier on October 7.
The World soccer governing body has ruled that it would not act on the complaint as per their regulations there was no evidence of external influence or manipulation.
According to a letter signed by Disciplinary Committee vice chairperson Julien Deux, dated October 17, 2017 there could be no action as guided by article 5.6 of the FIFA regulations the referee’s decision is final.
“In this context, we refer your association to article 15 par 6, of the regulations of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which clearly stipulates that no protests may be made about the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play. Such decisions are final and not subject to appeal,” stated the letter.
“Having said that, and for the sake of good order, we would like to emphasize that on the basis of the documentation and information currently in our possession, there is no evidence of any infringement of the applicable regulations by the referees of the match in question.”
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) filed a complaint with FIFA seeking an independent review of the match officiated by Botswana referee Joshua Bondo.
There was widespread outcry for FAZ to appeal to FIFA over the disallowed goal with parallels drawn with other situations where the world soccer governing body had ordered replays.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga had told journalists on the permutations of the outcome when journalists pressed him in the aftermath of the match in Uyo.
“But the rules being what they are you cannot overturn the decision of the referee,” Kamanga said.
“The only basis is when there was external influence. So the referee maybe carpeted for making a wrong decision but the decision still stands and unfortunately that is where we stand.”
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