Chief Shaibila of Mkushi District’s Lala People has stressed on the need to encourage more young people to engage in farming as a business.
Chief Shaibila said this in a speech read on his behalf by Senior Headman Charles Muswalo at the Lweo agriculture block show.
He said that it is important for people to realize that the future can be shaped by the activities and polices that are effected at the present moment, adding that involvement of young people can guarantee food security.
The Chief said food security is a critical component of poverty reduction, adding that the involvement of young people in agriculture has the capacity to improve the economy.
“food security is a critical component of poverty reduction, as young people in agriculture have the capacity to alter our economy,” he said.
Chief Shaibila however pointed out that lack of capital as well as high interest rates from lending institutions are posing major challenge to young people who wish to venture into farming.
He said that in view of this, there is need for Government to focus on creating enabling environment that would unfold favourable lending rates that young people can afford.
Chief Shaibila said many youths in his chiefdom are grappling with poverty and challenges in raising capital for production inputs, adding that many complain of high interest rates and limited array of lending sources.
The Chief observed that there is need to work towards a state of affairs in which interest rates from lending institutions could be in single digit figure such as 5%, saying that such a situation could give youths a marginal chance.
“we really need to look at these challenges critically as agriculture is the oxygen of our economy,” he said.