The Zambia National Farmers Union says ZESCO Ltd’s consideration of power importation to supplement local power generation has delighted farmers.
ZNFU) president Jervis Zimba said productive sectors in the country are in urgent need of electricity and the increase in load shedding by Zambia ZESCO has now become a crisis.
He further highlighted the dangers of over dependency on hydro-generation and emphasized the importance of accelerating investments in diversification of alternative power sources in the country.
Mr Zimba said ZNFU is aware that importing power will come at an extra cost which would in turn increase electricity tariffs.
He however stated that the union is ready to support an upward tariff
adjustment for the imported power as long it is done in a transparent manner.
Mr. Zimba emphasized that this adjustment should be temporal hence should disappear when local generation improves, assuming adequate rainfall is experienced in the coming rain season.
“I believe a hard choice should be made between having access to expensive power and paying for it, or having no power which will ground business to a standstill, “he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Zimba has urged government to mobilize farmers to grow maize under irrigation so that the country could have adequate national stocks of maize to safeguard national food security.
He explained that this can only be possible if farming areas have access to
electricity for irrigation.