LETTERS

lettersZambia’s agriculture to move centre stage

Dear Editor,

 

I strongly agree with Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya’s sentiments that agriculture was no more a way of life, but instead a business that should make people especially women to seize the opportunity.

Needless to say, agriculture accounts for around 30% of Zambia’s GDP and employs around 60% of the country’s population, yet, only 5% of Zambia’s arable land is under cultivation.

The largely subsistence level of white maize farming in the country, however, means that the country’s food security remains precarious.

Imperatively, there is an urgent need to put agriculture at the centre of development planning and budgeting (“Crop diversification only way forward – Siliya”, Sunday Nation, November 13, 2016).

It is worth mentioning that 95% of Zambian agriculture is smallholding farming.

The rest of the sector is dominated by large commercial farmers who invest in cash crops such as tobacco, coffee and cotton that can be sold to the West.

The reason for this is that the EU and the US enforce protectionist policies that place prohibitively high tariffs on imports while subsidizing domestic producers.

This drives down global prices, making it impossible for Zambian producers to compete, forcing them to invest in cash crops that grow more readily in the Zambian climate.

The downside is that with so much capacity diverted to the growing of cash crops, too little has been reserved for meeting the needs of the local population, while the wealthier nations’ surplus was being destroyed because it was not cost effective to do anything else with.

Despite its importance to the country in terms of its economy, food security, peace, social equality and health, agriculture has been suffering from chronic underdevelopment.

By some estimates, a dollar invested in agriculture in Zambia has a two or three times greater impact on poverty than the same amount invested in other sectors.

And yet, until recently, agriculture has often been neglected in national development strategies.

One consequence of a lack of adequate investment was that Zambian agriculture was lagging behind the rest of the SADC sub-region in terms of productivity, which itself led to an unsustainable use of land.

So, would the 2017 budget compel Zambia’s agriculture to move centre stage? Most likely.

Mubanga Luchembe

LUSAKA

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UTH sad story

Dear Editor,

The story on the front page of the Daily Nation Monday, November 14, 2016 makes sad reading.

I am shocked that a woman was forced to deliver on the floor at UTH on 12th November, 2016 because of negligence of medical staff.

Some mothers to-be are referred to UTH for specialist treatment from their respective clinics due to deal with imminent complications.

I was forced to deliver the baby on my own at Chipata clinic in 2009 while the nurse on duty was busy drinking tea and chatting with fellow nurses.

The tendency of some nurses in labour wards is pathetic and needs urgent attention by relevant authorities because the Ministry of Health always encourages safe deliveries in clinics and hospitals.

Concerned mother

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Fake prophets invade Zambian towns

Dear Editor,

 

I write to agree with other fellow Zambians who have seen red over fake prophets who have invaded our towns and are fleecing unsuspecting flocks.

The truth of the matter is that presently there are fewer (if not none) prophets in Zambia owing to the nature of that job.

Prophets and prophetesses as I know it, are individuals who do not own churches but are always in touch with God getting his messages for onward transmission to His people.

Even in older days (Old Testament) the number of such people was limited because it is not a simple calling.

Can you imagine what it should take for one to be always in the presence of God?

So some of these people who go round calling themselves prophets or prophetesses, believe me, they are fake.

I challenge them to produce even one message from God to this ever rotting world, chances are that they have none, except as usual telling people to sow seeds which do not germinate into anything.

I have also lost faith in the men of God from Nigeria because of their tendency of starting ‘healing’ sessions well into the night. Why are the scared of the light?

Do they have to wait until there was total darkness so that dark forces from the deep oceans can come out and perform fake miracles? I will not buy that.

I am more than convinced that we are in the end times when many false prophets will emerge and Lusaka is awash with them, some are selling fake bottles of water of life at K400 each. My God! Have you not wondered why greater men of God such as Bill Graham or Benny Hinn have not clamoured for prophetic titles? Yes I have come across some Zambian prophets whom I have known to be serpents in the grass and biggest womanisers by fishing lovers from their churches. Jay Kabemba, LUSAKA

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Appeal to MCA

Dear Editor,

I am appealing to Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and our area Member of Parliament Jean Kapata to quickly dig and clean the Ngwerere stream from the ZNS Bridge to Kasangula Road to avoid flooding because the rainy season is already with us.

We were advised to demolish our wall fences to pave way for MDA working space but up to now they haven’t reached our place near ZNS Bridge.

The construction of Mazyopa-Bombay drainage by Millennium Challenge Account along Ngwerere stream has brought joy to many residents of Garden compound and surrounding areas.

Prevention is better than cure.

Carsdo Mtango

 

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RTSA should be impartial

Dear Editor

 

I write to implore Road and Transport Safety Agency in conjunction with the Zambia Police Traffic Department to be impartial as they implement some road safety measures.

I am sometimes left wondering whether laws apply to some and not to everyone else.

My take is who owns these non-roadworthy timber trucks that are always on the road creating anarchy when the RTSA are always on the same roads carrying out patrols?

These heavily laden trucks with timber are actually not safe to be on roads yet they pass each road block freely at the disappointment of the many motorists who are impounded at any slightest mistake.

As if that is not enough, they often move at night without rear lights making them a death trap. They also park careless on the road.

Unless there is a law that permits that timber should only be transported using such trucks, then there is something amiss and corrective measures should be put in place now.

Wisdom Muyunda

CHINGOLA

Categorized | Letters

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