ZAABC against SA farmers invite

THE Zambia Alliance for Agro-ecology and Biodiversity Conservation (ZAABC) has opposed the invitation of South African farmers to invest in Zambia, saying the development will negatively impact on small-scale farmers and land ownership.
However, Government has allayed these fears and assured small-scale farmers of protection from the large scale farmers.
ZAABC is a network of 20 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Zambia, championing small-scale farmer driven agro-ecological farming systems and pro-poor sustainable development.
ZAABC chairperson Emmanuel Mutamba said in a statement that the alliance objected to South African farmers’ audience with President Edgar Lungu and to the manner in which Zambia’s land and agricultural sector is being portrayed as being up for sale to the highest foreign bidder.
He said the system that South African farmers favours large scale agriculture, which gradually removes small-scale farmers out of the agriculture sector.
He added that the large scale, chemical and capital intensive corporate agriculture would not to address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition in the country.
Mr Mutemba said national strategy of consolidating smaller areas of land into large scale commercial units and farm blocks with out-growers would also increase local conflict around land access and ownership.
Agriculture Deputy Minister, Maxas N’gonga, however, said investment by South African famers would not have  any negative impact on small-scale farmers because they would be required to follow Zambian laws, regulations and standards.
He said Government had opened up over one million hectors of land countrywide for agriculture investment.
Mr N’gonga said Government was welcoming investment from both local and foreign companies in the country.

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