THERE is need for a coherent programme to support small holder farmers in the edible oil sector to improve their farming efficiency and access to markets, says the Edible Oil Refiners Association consultant Aubrey Chibumba.
Mr Chibumba said oilseed crops could increase the farmers’ revenues if the small holder scheme produced efficiently and obtain fair market prices.
He said it was highly unlikely that both farm efficiencies and fair market prices were achievable by the small holder farmers if the primary driver for oil seed processing was vulnerable.
Mr Chibumba said there was need to make diversification options available to the economy.
He said the animal husbandry sub-sector was the biggest beneficiary from edible oils by-products like stockfeed which if increased would result in serious opportunity for protein exports besides generating employment opportunities.
“The animal husbandry sector also supports the meat processing and meat packaging sub-sectors, and these are all infant industries in Zambia with significant growth potential that can only be realized if the underpinning edible oil sector is operating effectively,” he said.
Mr Chibumba said lack of diversification would reflect itself in continued poverty for small holder farmers that have over 80 percent of the workforce.
Agriculture contributed 20 percent to Zambia’s GDP.
GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.