PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says Zambians who say, “there is no money in people’s pockets” are foolish people who forget that money can only be earned through hard work.

Speaking when he officiated at the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute in Chilanga, Thursday, President Lungu said that those who complained that, “there was no money in people’s pockets” were correct because the ones with empty pockets had not worked hard enough to earn money.

The Head of State stressed that the PF’s famous 2011 campaign slogan was referring to “more money in people’s pockets”, but only after hard work.

“When we talk about farming, we talk about bellies, stomachs, how many of us don’t have stomachs. So, the market is everywhere. Whether you are slim, like some of us, or whether you are fat like some of us, we eat. So, a farmer who produces that crop, I don’t see why that farmer should be poor. When you are poor, it’s lack of innovation and lack of scientific research and approach to the farming business. I think we are doing enough; we are here helping the farmers add value to their crops,” President Lungu said.

“A foolish person said ‘there is no more money in the pocket,’ I said: ‘you must have forgotten that money comes through hard work.’ As someone said, ‘no farmer, no food, no future,’ you were right. And when you say, ‘no more money in the pockets,’ you are right, you forgot to say, ‘it is hard work,’ work hard! So, those of you who want to be clear with me when we say, ‘more money in people’s pockets’ please go and tell the people that, ‘[it’s] hard work also which is going to bring more money in people’s pockets.’ This year, we are going to produce a bumper harvest and you will see, unless something goes wrong. So, let’s keep it up and let’s encourage people to work hard.”

President Lungu urged farmers to add value to their crops.

“I didn’t come here to address you; I came here to see what is being done. Allow me to say that I have realised that the secret of a successful farmer lies in the seed. Quality seed, but the seed doesn’t go alone it goes with the soil. The soil does not go alone; it goes with water and nutrition. So, the whole process is one of the reasons you find that along the way, some people make losses; others make money, why? It’s because they have put much thought into what they are doing,” said President Lungu.

“As government, we want to involve ourselves in the soil, the seed, the water, in the product that comes out of the seed and, indeed, how much value addition we have made. This is a concern for government, and I am glad that most of you have decided to jump on the bandwagon and decided to add value to the crops that you produce. This also goes with research to find out what diseases are affecting our crops. And I’m happy that the Minister with his staff and all those of you involved are looking at how we can protect our crops from disease. We do not want to see a situation where the farmer is a poor person, it shouldn’t be like that. All of us involved in farming are rich people because the market is always there.”