Government must urgently increase the number of extension officers if crop diversification in Zambia is to become a reality, says HIVOS Regional Advocacy Manager for Sustainable Foods in Southern Africa William Chilufya.
And Chilufya says HIVOS plans to work with other partners to protect the country’s forest because it remains a number one source of food and income.
Speaking when he featured on the ‘Nkani Yatu’ radio programme on Kwithu Radio, Tuesday, Chilufya said there was need for government to urgently scale-up its investment in extension services if the long-term objective of crop diversification was to be realized.
“There is need to increase the number of extension officers in this country who will work with farmers for easy access. Above all, there is need for a continuous training and capacity-building of extension officers so that they are well-equipped with current and appropriate information necessary for the farmers to make favourable decisions. These extension officers need an overhaul logistical support approach for them to move from farmer to farmer; you have in most cases, extension workers failing to visit communities due to lack of transportation facilities. This is why we are saying the government should urgently invest in extension services if crop diversification is to be reality,” Chilufya urged.
And he announced that HIVOS planned to work with other partners to protect the country’s depleting forests because they remained the number one source of food and income.
“It is important to take care of forests as they are the number one source of food and income. That is why HIVOS is planning together with other partners to work on food, forests and farming for the future,” said Chilufya.