by Moses Nyati
Government has embarked on an ambitious farm block development programme (FBDP) to facilitate agricultural land and rural development and encourage private sector investment. To accelerate the development of farm blocks such as the Nansanga Farm Block, government has sought partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank (WB).
Speaking in an exclusive interview with National Agricultural Information Services(NAIS), Central Province Agricultural Coordinator (PACO) Alex Chilala said government was in a hurry to transform Nansanga Farm Block and make it a destination for investors.
Mr Chilala said the farm block model has the potential to leverage private sector investments in agriculture and promote productive partnerships that would help to create jobs, increase agricultural value addition, and generate export earnings.
Mr Chilala further said Nansanga farm block has been selected as a model hence the hurry to have in place basic infrastructure such as roads, water, and electricity.
“Government is in a hurry to transform Nansanga farm block through provision of basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water.” He said
The Provincial Agricultural Coordinator disclosed that government through the Ministry of Agriculture has partnered with African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank through the Zambia Farm Block Transformation project and Zambia Growth Opportunities (ZAMGRO) to open up Nansanga farm block.
Mr Chilala said under AfDB, the model is to clear about 5000ha of land in Nansanga and empower each farmer whose land will be cleared with farming inputs for a period of five years and also provide market access for the produce.
The PACO said the opening up of Nansanga through provision of basic infrastructure such a roads, electricity coupled with the African development bank model will attract a lot of investors.
Meanwhile, Nansanga Farm Block project coordinator Patrick Munthali disclosed that Central province received funding in the first quarter to start redeveloping Nansanga farm block.
Mr Munthali said the province has so far undertaken four major activities among them being the baseline survey, power line extension, road construction survey and the borehole inventory survey of which thirty six boreholes were recommended for rehabilitation.
He further said government in its quest to improve access to quality water for people living Nansanga has so far rehabilitated fifteen boreholes out the thirty-six.
Nansanga Farm Block has about 100,000ha of land which is demarcated into 363 small and medium farms and one core venture whose role is to support agri-business activities through an out-grower scheme.