Serenge Member of Parliament Maxwell Kabanda has disclosed that government is providing beehives and capital for small-scale farmers in his constituency.
In a phone interview with the Lusaka Star, Mr. Kabanda said that through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the empowerment programme is helping small-scale farmers that want to venture into bee farming.
He added that government is particularly reaching out to existing farming cooperatives that are doing well as a selection criteria.
Mr. Kabanda said that if this programme was successful, Zambia would able to export honey on a large scale world wide as there is a vast market for natural honey.
Meanwhile, Small Scale Farmers Association of Zambia Director, Boyd Moobwa agreed that honey production was a good venture as there was market outside Zambia.
Additionally, he said that there was a good number of farmers that have shown interest in Mumbwe and other parts of the country to be part of this programme.
However, Mr. Moobwa outlined that the problem is that farmers do not have proper access to information and resources that are needed for them to venture into this business.
“I think the problem we have in Zambia is that we talk of things that should happen in the agriculture sector and yet we do not provide the necessary incentives and equipment for farmers,” he said.
The Director added that there was no proper support for the farmers which had led to continuous outcries of unemployment and poor production in the agriculture sector.
He has since appealed to government to intensify farmer empowerment programmes as it is currently not doing much.
Mr. Moobwa said that government always focuses on a small fraction of farmers leaving behind the rest.
“Government only distributes these farming incentives to a small fraction of farmers, leaving behind the rest and as a result it states that it has helped the nation,” he said.