By Lawrence Kabutu

SOUTHERN Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Yolanta MALUNGA says operations at the newly launched multimillion Crop Grain Bulking Centre will contribute towards exploiting the potential of the local rural economies through access to improved markets in Kazungula district.


Mrs. MALUNGA says small scale farmers face critical agricultural constraints such as inefficiencies in inputs and commodity marketing caused by inadequate storage facilitates and poorly organised marketing systems.


She noted that it is against this backdrop that government and the Green Climate Fund funded Strengthening Climate Resilience of Agricultural Livelihoods in Agro-Ecological Regions I and ii in Zambia (SCRALA) Project constructed the Crop Grain Bulking Centre.


Mrs. MALUNGA said the Crop Grain Bulking Centre was constructed through the Ministry of Agriculture by the technical support from the United Nations Development Programme and financial support from the Green Climate Fund.


She said the SCRALA Project is implemented by the government of Zambia to strengthen the capacity of farmers to promote climate resilience in agriculture through the Ministry of Agriculture.


Mrs. MALUNGA said the project supports rural farmers through promotion of access to weather information to enhance planning, access to quality seed, promotion of Conservation Agriculture, Post harvest loss management, and access to improved markets.


And farmers have started aggregating various crops at the Multimillion Bulking Centre in Kazungula offering K300 per 50 kilogramme bag of maize.


Joseph KALYANGILE a farmer who brought 20 by 50 kilogramme bags of maize to the Bulking Centre for sell expressed happiness to the SCRALA project for creating market at the farmers’ door step.


Mr. KALYANGILE said farmers are now able to bargain for their hard earned field crops to be purchased at a lucrative price.


Meanwhile Kabuyu Multipurpose Cooperative Bulking Centre Treasurer Beatrice NGANDU reveals that her Cooperative has started purchasing Maize, Sunflower, and Cowpeas from the local farmers in Kazungula.