THE Government has called for a reduction in the cost of mechanised agriculture equipment to promote value addition to locally grown crops.
And CAMCO Equipment Zambia has pledged to help the Government actualise its agenda of empowering farmers to enhance value addition.
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Minister Elias Mubanga said most small scale farmers could not afford to add value to their crops owing to the high cost of production.
Mr Mubanga was speaking in Lusaka when he visited the CAMCO plant located on Kafue Road.
“Our appeal as Government is that companies such as CAMCO consider reducing the price of equipment for easy accessibility by farmers. This will help our farmers add value to their produce so that the country can export more finished products,” he said.
He also urged financial institutions to consider reducing lending rates to ensure that farmers had the capacity to procure agricultural equipment easily.
Speaking at the same occasion, CAMCO Group Chairperson Li Tie said the firm would consider reducing the cost of its equipment as a way of supporting local farmers.
He said this year would mark CAMCO’s 25th anniversary in Zambia and the firm would work with the Government in enhancing the agriculture sector’s productivity.
“We currently have six branches dotted across various parts of Zambia and plans are in progress to expand to more areas so that we reach more people,” Mr Li said.
He said the firm had signed a co-operation agreement with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to ensure that entrepreneurs accessing loans could procure equipment at a flexible cost.