NW chiefs Zim-bound for training in conversation farming

Four chiefs from North Western Province, Senior Chief Mujimanzovu, Chief Mumena, Chief Mulonga and Chief Kapjimpanga have left Zambia for a week long conservation farming course in Zimbabwe under the sponsorship of First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FQM).

FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli who announced the trip in Lusaka yesterday said that the course the chiefs were going to pursue was a vivid expression of how FQM had aligned CSR within its business to ensure sustainable social and economic growth.

“As we work on expanding this important initiative, we can point to the success in training small-scale farmers who have doubled their maize harvest, and we will be targeting to increase the maize yield up to seven tonnes per hectare.

“We are also proud that traditional leaders who are an important stakeholder in successfully implementing conservation farming have taken a keen interest in the initiative. The course will certainly empower our traditional leaders who are well-placed to cascade their knowledge to their subjects,” said Gen Chinkuli.

“Our CSR must serve as model for companies in Zambia. We don’t just write cheques or hand over buildings to our stakeholders. We are deeply involved in programme delivery for each of our stakeholders. Significantly, every CSR programme we is geared towards making a positive and lasting impact

He said in  a world of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Zambia, few were  as recognisable and tangible as FQM conservation farming initiative that has helped to double the maize harvest in North Western Province.

Created in mid 2008 as a bold plan by Zambia’s largest copper producer to train hundreds of farmers in optimal farming methods that are free of environmental degradation, efficient and cost effective, the conservation farming initiative has garnered the attention of traditional chiefs in North Western Province.

Five years after the con

servation farming initiative began, FQM executives say that they have plans to expand the programme that has seen small-scale farmers in producing 2.6 metric tonnes per hectare, contrasted by 1.2 metric tonnes before.