By Lawrence Kabutu
A SENIOR Government official in the ministry of Communication and Transport under the Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD) has pledged continued working collaboration with the media in disseminating weather and climate information among smallholder farmers in the country to enhance food security.
Zambia Meteorological Department Assistant Director – Climate and Advisories Martin Swaswa made the pledge when he closed a 4 days Media Training Workshop on Weather and Climate held at the Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI) in Chongwe.
Mr. Swaswa noted that the government of Zambia is implementing the Strengthening Climate Resilience of Agricultural Livelihoods in Agro-Ecological 1 and 11 in Zambia (SCRALA) whose key output include increased access to weather, climate and agriculture information.
He said the increased access to weather, climate, and agriculture information is aimed at enhancing smallholder farmers resilience to weather extremes and negative effects of climate change.
Mr. Swaswa stressed that government through SCRALA project wishes to strengthen collaboration with community radio stations and other media institutions through the media training workshop as a way of increasing access to information for the vulnerable smallholder farmers and rural communities.
And Mr. Swaswa said the major focus and objective of the training was for media personnel to learn on weather and climate Interpretation, Presentation and Packaging of weather, climate, water, and agriculture advisories for smallholder farmers.
Meanwhile, all media institutions and ZMD staff that attended the media training on weather and climate unanimously resolved to strengthen the relationship with the Zambia Meteorological Department.
They further resolved to ensure effective and efficient way to disseminate weather and climate information to their clients that include farmers among others.
The 4 days media training workshop was attended by National Agricultural Information Services Provincial Agricultural Information Officers, Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation, Zamcom, ZMD staff and selected media personnel from various community radio stations.