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Syngenta Zambia donates treated maize to farmers

Officials standing at Seed donation ceremony

Syngenta Zambia Ltd in partnership with the Zambian government has donated 6, 000 Fortenza Duo treated maize seed to smallholder farmers of Kazungula District in Southern Province.

Officiating at the handover ceremony, which happened at Chief Nyawa’s palace, Southern province minister Edify Hamukale said Syngenta is making significant investment in agriculture research, breeding, as well as its processing facilities to ensure that farmers have access to quality seed varieties and crop protection solutions.

Dr Hamukale said agriculture contributes between 17 to 20 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 80 per cent of the country’s labor force is engaged with agriculture related activities.

“As government, we have set a new vision for agriculture transformation. A new vision that sees agriculture as a business and not as a developmental programme, a new vision focused on the government enabling the private sector to raise investments in the agriculture sector,” Dr Hamukale said.

The Minister explained that Syngenta launched the ground breaking seed treatment innovation, Fortenza Duo, which gives the crop 4 weeks fall army protection after planting.

Dr Hamukale added that the innovation helps with the challenges that farmers face such as reducing the cost of chemical application and protecting the crop in the early and critical stages of establishment hence ensuring farmers achieve the desired harvests.

He mentioned that government is boldly supporting the farmers by ensuring input markets work for the farmers in order to fight poverty.

The Provincial Minister added that it is the duty of government to develop ways of effectively targeting support to reach farmers while at the same time ensuring that the private sector delivers the inputs to farmers.

Dr Hamukale thanked Syngenta Zambia Ltd for the critical role played in the success of Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and other areas they are helping to supplement government such as the maize seed donation.

Earlier, Syngenta Zambia Ltd Commercial Head Brian Mhango said Syngenta is committed to working with smallholders to increase their productivity while using fewer resources.

Mr Mhango said the rise in global food insecurity coupled with the impact of climate change calls for consented effort in ensuring smallholder farmers who are primarily producers of maize in the country have access to improved technologies  to raise their productivity

“Our commitment as Syngenta is ensuring that we are making the right investment as the partner of choice for agriculture related interventions in all the markets we are operating.

“ Today’s event is a testimony of our commitment, helping smallholders raise their farm productivity in a sustainable way with game changing agriculture innovations like Fortenza Duo treated maize hybrids,” Mr Mhango said.