*World Food Day* (By MacPherson Mukuka)
Hundreds of Small Scale Farmers in Kanakantapa Village of Chongwe District in Lusaka Province on Friday, October 16th 2015, gathered at Farm 356 belonging to MARGARET CHISANGANO a lead farmer in the area to commemorate World Food Day.
Among the delegates were 8 Diplomats accredited to Zambia and 3 United Nations Agencies representatives and Senior Government officials.
The day was commemorated under the theme: Social protection, breaking the cycle of rural poverty, and saw a number of Civil Society Organisations spearheading social protection and nutrition related agendas.
Speaking during the event, Agriculture Deputy Minister MAXUS NGONGA said tackling poverty goes beyond the promotion of economic growth.
Mr. Ng’onga said this is why government under the Patriotic Front Administration devised ways aimed at supplementing farmer efforts in food production and end poverty in the country.
He said the launch of E-vouchers, social cash transfers and other farmer support programmes and meant to cushion the challenges being faced by rural farmers and vulnerable families.
The Deputy Minister noted that small scale farmers and farmers in general play a key role in ending poverty in the country.
He said, government has a vigorous project in line with the farmer input support programme FISP meant to expedite the provision of farming inputs to the farmers across the country.
And Host Farmer, MARGARET CHISANGANO, a small scale farmer explained that she has well benefited from farmer support programmes.
She said since joining farmer programmes at KASISI, she has managed to rise to the occasion and is now a lead farmer with 15 follower farmers in her area.
She further disclosed that annually, she manages to raise income amounting to over 1 hundred Thousand Kwacha which she makes from the sale of her farm products from 6 different agriculture practices.
Mrs. CHISANGANO added that she has decided to diversify her farming activities because of the challenges that have come with Climate Change.
The lead farmer also took time to urge her fellow farmer to work hard adding that it is through hard work that she has managed to be where she is today.
United Nations Resident Coordinator JANET ROGAN said it is because of the hardworking farmers that the World celebrates such a day.
She said seeing one farmer (Mrs. Chisangano) managing 6 agricultural activities at a single farmer is an indication that Zambia has the potential to end hunger and subsequent end poverty.
Meanwhile, Food Agriculture Organisation- Zambia Country Representative GEORGE OKECH said over 60 countries out of the more than 160 countries have made strides in ending hunger.
He said there is potential that more countries will meet the MGD target of reducing hunger by the end of 2015.
Chongwe District was perfectly selected to host this year’s Zambian WFD celebrations because of its promising farmers in food production.
The area is second from Chipata District in terms of maize production, making it one of the top ten most maize producing districts in the Country.