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Celebrity, Ndhlovu who is former Deputy Minister in the Frederic Chiluba regime said peasant farming methods are outdated and subjective, adding that there is need to do away with it.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