Zambia civil society against south African farm investment

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The Zambia Alliance

for Agro-ecology and

Biodiversity Conservation

(ZAABC) are against 27

commercial South African

farmers attempting to

penetrate the agricultural

sector in the Southern African

country.

According to The Post ZAABC

argument was that it needs to

be auctioned off the highest

bidder.

The 27 farmers arrived

through Zambia’s High

Commissioner to South Africa,

Emmanuel Mwamba, to

prospect investment

opportunities in the sector.

After a brief upon arrival in

Zambia the farmers are set to

meet this week with President

Edgar Lungu to discuss

Zambia’s favourable

agricultural climate.

ZAABC Chairperson,

Emmanuel Mutamba speaking

on behalf of a network of 20

civil society organisations in

Zambia which advocate for

small-scale farmer driven

agro-ecological farming

systems and pro-poor

sustainable development

oppose the invitation.

“The national strategy of

consolidating small areas of

land into large-scale

commercial units and farm

blocks for private capital

intensive agriculture with out-

growers, increases local

conflict around land access

and ownership. Land

availability is a significant

issue for small-scale farmers

in Zambia.”

Mutamba said the allocation

of customary land by

government and traditional

leaders has been unjust.

Mutamba expressed the

concern that SA farmers

intend to pursue industrial

model farming which involves

large-scale mono-cropping,

high mechanisation, few

skilled jobs and intensive

natural resource use which

requires high capital inputs;

bank loans and high risks.

This he said only benefits

corporate concentration for

the control of minority

wealthy elite ultimately

undermining Zambia’s local

economy.

“Previous independent land

owners must then instead

seek low paid jobs as

landless labourers on

privatised farms or migrate to

Zambia’s overpopulated and

un-serviced urban outskirts,”

regretted Mutamba.

According to the Lusaka

Times Zambia’S High

Commissioner to South Africa,

Emmanuel Mwamba had met

with several top South African

commercial farmer on

January 27 urging them to

take advantage of the

Southern African investor

friendly environment and

abundant arable land.

He said Zambia did not suffer

from the same political

instability other African

nations face.

He furthermore invited them

to join the Zambia South

Africa Business Council which

could aid them in addressing

some of the obstacles they

would face in trying to enter

Zambia.

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