Peasant Farming Must Come To An End-Ndhlovu

Source: Kwacha Celebrity Newspaper

Former Transport and Communication Deputy Minister Alfred Ndhlovu is strongly advocating for Zambia to transform from  peasant farming to improved and modernized  agricultural   methods.

And Ndhlovu is disappointed that while Finance Minister Felix Mutati has found K4,000 for the E-Vulture system, he has not found money  to pay farmers what is owed to them  by Government.

Speaking in an exclusive  interview with Kwacha Celebrity, Ndhlovu who is former Deputy Minister in the Frederic Chiluba regime said peasant farming methods are outdated and subjective, adding  that there is need to do away with it.

He said in the world of  technology, there is no way that farmers can be  using ancestors’   method of farming.

He said farming should graduate to acceptable levels and not remaining in the shadow of peasant farming because  there is nothing good that comes  from a peasant farmer.

Ndhlovu said Government should look for  money to buy new farming equipments, saying investing heavily in agriculture will boost the Zambian economy.

“I have never seen a peasant farmer who is rich. They are poor.  Why should we have peasant farmers? What I am saying is that we  can’t continue having peasant farmers, 53 years after independence. We can’t be practicing agriculture like our ancestors used to. No a lot has changed. This is a reason you can’t see peasant farmers in developed countries” Ndhlovu said,” It is a duty of government to look for money to buy modern farming equipments. Farmers  must have  modern equipments, inputs and most importantly, land for them to practice serious commercial farming.”

And the former deputy minister regretted that most farmers have  not being  paid their 2016/17 money owed to them, yet government has secured the K4,million for e-Vulture system.

He said giving farmers money  owed to them is priority and not pumping in money in the  e-Vulture system.

According to Ndhlovu, e-Vulturers cannot bring food on farmers’ tables.

“I heard that Felix Mutati, who is not  even PF, announced that Government is  allocating K4 million to the e-Vulture programme. But this is the same  government that owes farmers millions of kwachas. Let them first of all pay farmers what is due to them, so that we can have a productive farming. The e-Vulture programme or whatever you call it will just husband poverty. What farmers what is money. If they grow their produce government must pay them good money,” he said.