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Skretting Africa says Zambia’s aquaculture status in rapid boost

THE aquaculture status in Zambia is rapidly increasing, says Skretting Africa specialist Mary Banda.

Aquaculture is a growing market in sub-Saharan Africa and the Agritech Expo next month will be showcasing the region’s most prominent players in this field.

“We as Skretting Zambia want to play a major role in pushing Zambia’s aquaculture system to greater heights of meeting its per capita consumption of fish. We would like to play a role in helping people sustain their livelihoods by helping them better understand the importance of using quality extruded feed. At Agritech Expo we will showcase the different quality feeds that we have to offer and also help and guide farmers with technical aspects regarding to fish farming,” said Banda.

Agritech Expo Zambia sales director Liam Beckett said farming and all that it entails was an ever evolving, developing and extremely innovative industry and Zambia is no different.

“We’re excited to once again present an exhibition and AgriTEACH workshops that reflect where agriculture in Zambia is going and showcasing business opportunities for farmers of all scales, whether in livestock, crops, technology or irrigation. It is all about practical knowledge sharing and putting into practice. Visitors can once again see the latest innovations and services in the market to take their farming operations to the next level,” said Beckett of the fifth Agritech Expo Zambia exhibition at Chisamba from April 12-14.

According to a statement, Agritech Expo Zambia will for the first time showcase live mowing and baling demonstrations on April 12 in a new demo area focused on quality mechanisation for mowing purposes and will give farming professionals the opportunity to view this equipment in action.

“Agritech Expo is very important for all agricultural suppliers in Zambia” said Willie Dietrechsen, country manager Equipment – Zambia for AFGRI Corporation Ltd, leading supplier of mechanisation equipment and John Deere representatives.

“The expo is the only national showcase for AFGRI equipment where we are able to not only showcase, but also demonstrate new technology in the range of equipment we offer as farming solutions to the Zambian farmer. We are also planning a sales incentive programme together with John Deere Finance to assist farmers in buying equipment on a ‘buy now and pay later’ programme.”

Good Nature Agro, Zambia Seed supply manager Newton Phiri said on average, smallholder farmers producing for Good Nature have increased production by 220 per cent and incomes now average US$382 per hectare – an increase of more than $250 on typical monocrop maize production.

“Given this resounding success we have expanded our reach to work with 5,000 small scale farmers, up from 2,200 in the previous season. Since its founding in 2014, Good Nature has bucked the status quo of how companies source from smallholders by investing more in our growers and extension agents to increase productivity per hectare instead of investing less to cut unit costs. This has paid off with a nearly 220 per cent increase in yield for farmers producing legume seed for Good Nature,” said Phiri.

Rivulis Irrigation technical support manager Arjan Janknegt said there was growing awareness of food security in many places.

He said African governments and institutions were starting to see that support to smallholders and communities could be very effective and efficient in achieving the goal of food security.

“This is why we have a range of drip kits starting from small sizes enabling even individual families to become commercial farmers by producing beyond the families’ needs. This means that combined with a small investment and the already available recourses, they can start to make money,” said Janknegt.

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