Agriculture organisations appeal to government for platform to share statistics - by Talent Ng’andwe


Agriculture organisations have appealed to the government to avail them a platform for sharing statistics on agriculture commodities to enable them contribute positively to the new UN-based information system, CountrySTAT which is to be launched soon.


Some farmer organisations have complained that their views are not addressed, accusing the government of delaying the process.


Felix Chizyuka, Executive Director of Agri-business Forum, an association that represents interest of private sector companies and farmers linked to outgrowing schemes states that government alone cannot sustain meaningful and well-coordinated information system like CountrySTAT but needs the support of the private sector.


Chizyuka said in the CountrySTAT publication that an integrated information system is very expensive and recommends it would be cheaper for government to get the support of existing small information systems in different private sector led organisations.


He adds that the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives should tap into existing information provision from the private sector to reduce on weak planning because f unreliable data.


Agribusiness Forum has an information systems programme based on production of various commodities, imports and exports and regulations.


Grain Association of Zambia Executive Director, Jacob Mwale says there are so many organisations and individuals with information about the sector an integrated system needs to be put in place to lessen costs and give guidance.