Extension services planned for small-scale farmers


AGRI-PROFOCUS Zambia is planning to increase extension services for small-scale farmers in the coming year, says country assistant Nchimunya Kasongo

Ms Kasongo said the organisation fosters the development of strong communities of practice, particularly around identified key thematic areas, based on Agri-Hub choices led by local members.

She said agri-profocus Zambia had been offered a designated area of 100 sq meters where 12 companies would be able to have an exhibition space as the organisation was trying to establish close working relationships with local institutes.

According to agri profocus report, Agritech Expo was projected to have in excess of 120 exhibitors and 10, 000 visitors, with ambitious plans for 2015.

She said smallholder farmers did not have access to information on financial and insurance products, thus limiting their uptake and utilisation of products available.

Ms Kasongo said Agri-Profocus Zambia was developing a mechanism that would disseminate financial information directly to farmers and where financial service providers could directly target potential clients for business deals.

“We want to create a platform where one-on-one business deals can be made directly between farmers and financial institutions, and we are therefore planning the possibility of increasing extension services for small-scale farmers for 2015,” she said.

Ms Kasongo said in line with its mandate of improving farmers’ access to finance, Agri-Profocus financial fair would  improve functioning of agricultural value chains by promoting certain innovations through joint action such as access to finance, markets and improving farming practices.