A project which aims to substitute potato imports, as well as create export opportunities for the crop, has been set up in Zambia. Potato seed for smallholder farmers in Northern Province will be produced through the partnership between AgDevCo and Saise Farming Enterprises Limited. In response to a query recently, AgDevCo Zambia’s country director Peter MacSporran said the venture will help create a more reliable local supply and enable farmers to grow potatoes using affordable seed to improve food security.
“In total, AgDevCo has invested US$4.5 million in a partnership which will primarily be a seed potato farm hub and act as an anchor investment within the Northern hub,” he said. Mr MacSporran said the venture is also intended to kick-start investment. He said the firm intends to create a reliable power supply and irrigation system for the successful cultivation of the crop to address challenges that affect the growing of potatoes such as power outages, potato pests and diseases. “This will enable crops to be grown under irrigation, ensuring security against droughts. Potatoes will also be grown in winter, the period of lowest disease pressure, and will be stored in climate-controlled warehouses for the following year’s distribution to farmers.” Source: daily-mail.co.zm