Musika Zambia  says the livestock sector will lose out on opportunities to attract investment on the export of beef at the Agri-Tech expo slated for this week due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Musika Zambia  head of corporate affairs, Pamela Hamasaka expressed sadness over the absence of a platform for livestock at the expo adding that this would negatively affect the expansion of small holder farmers in the livestock sector.

‘’As Musika we are saddened with the fact that our small scale farmers may not have the opportunity once again this year to actually get to view the animals or even buy from the expo, because this is supposed to be a livestock platform where farmers can come and buy livestock if they so wish,’’ she explained.

Mrs. Hamasaka said livestock farmers should begin to take measures that ensure that their management practices are up to date with regards to veterinary services.

She said farmers and the private sector should work in collaboration with the government in containing the foot and mouth disease.

‘’ I know government is doing all they can through the Disaster  Management and Mitigation unit to try and contain the disease but this is not just a problem of government. Livestock framers should realize that it is important to take measures to control the disease,” she said.

Meanwhile, Musika Zambia operations director Joshua Munkombwe disclosed that it has established a three year project aimed at smoothening relationships between agro-dealers and small scale holder farmers in view of enhancing productivity.

He said filling the gaps that lie between the suppliers of agro-products and small scale holder farmers would help resolve challenges that have been experienced in the sector such as the delay in delivering inputs.

‘’If we smoothen the operations of the small and medium enterprises we will actually work well and similarly they will provide better services for the small holder communities,’’ he said.

He however said this could only be achieved through  capacity building that would consequently improve efficiency among suppliers and farmers.

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