Zambia’s rising planting costs have affected local food security

According to statistics, since the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, more than 20 countries around the world have introduced food export restrictions, and countries are also actively looking for alternative resources to “protect themselves”. Some underdeveloped countries, mainly those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, which are heavily dependent on Russian and Ukrainian food imports, are not only forced to bear high food prices, but even face the risk of “food shortage”. In Zambia, the local agricultural planting cost has increased significantly. Experts believe that this will have an adverse impact on Zambia’s food security.

Due to the increase of fertilizer prices and transportation costs in the international market, the local fertilizer prices in Zambia have also risen. The price of a pack of 50kg compound fertilizer has almost doubled.

Chihuara nkabilo Zambian farmer: the price of chemical fertilizer has risen sharply. We don’t know how to control the price of agricultural products. Production costs have increased, and the increased part will eventually be apportioned to consumers.

In addition, due to the rising fuel price, the production cost of local agricultural mechanization also increases, which means that Zambian farmers need to invest more money. Due to the rising cost of overall planting, some farmers have switched to other industries. What is more worrying is that this will endanger Zambia’s food security.

Charleszulu, an agricultural expert in Zambia: food security will be affected. Because farmers’ profits will gradually disappear, they have to find another way instead of using expensive fertilizers to continue agricultural cultivation. Farmers will put down their gloves (stop farming). Finally, we will have to rely on food imports.

In order to solve the current dilemma, charleszulu, a Zambian agricultural expert, also gave advice to help farmers reduce their dependence on chemical fertilizers. First, make more use of livestock manure and plant roots, stems and leaves to make organic fertilizer. The second is to change the grain planting structure. Because the staple food “Sima” of Zambi Adam people is made of corn flour, and the planting of corn requires a large amount of chemical fertilizer, he also suggested that farmers plant more soybeans and cassava to replace people’s demand for corn and reduce the demand for chemical fertilizer.

Charleszulu, Zambian agricultural expert: we have been encouraging farmers to plant other cash crops instead of focusing on planting corn that requires a large amount of chemical fertilizer. We are also trying to change farmers’ concept of relying on synthetic fertilizer and encourage them to find other alternative ways. One of our current measures is to introduce the use of organic fertilizer (in agricultural planting).

However, charleszulu also said that only some farmers have mastered the technology of making organic fertilizer by themselves. How to popularize this technology more widely and ensure the yield still needs further practice. And changing the traditional grain planting structure is not possible in a short time.

Source: CCTV news client

Post time: Jun-27-2022