11 October 2012

Zambia: UK, Sweden Invest K100 Billion to Support Farmers

BRITAIN and Sweden have invested K100 billion to support 250,000 smallholder farmers in Zambia for the next four years.

The funds would be disbursed to Musika, a non-profit making company which would in turn link smallholder farmers with the large private sector firms that supply fertiliser, seed and other farming inputs to sell to smallholder farmers using a network of agents.

The programme would also help large private sector companies be in direct contact with farmers and explore untapped markets in the outskirts where the smallholder farmers are found.

Head of the Department for International Development (DfID) in Zambia, Kavin Quinlum said during a signing ceremony held at Musika offices in Lusaka yesterday that the organisation had decided to supplement Government's efforts by enhancing agriculture among the smallholder farmers.

Mr Quinlum said there were a lot of opportunities among the smallholder farmers to expand their agricultural activities and reduce poverty among households in rural areas.

And Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy, Per Lundell commended the British Government for coming on board to assist Musika in supporting agricultural programmes.

The Swedish Government has been supporting Musika since inception of the company in 2011.

Mr Lundell said the coming on board of the British Government would help create employment and reduce poverty in farming households by integrating farming households in well-functioning agricultural markets.

The British Government, through DfID, is investing up to K40 billion in Musika while Sweden already invested K30 billion and plans to invest another K30 billion over the coming two to three years were underway.

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