The Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) has called for early education of farmers if the growing global population is to be sufficiently fed.
SAIRLA Assistant Programme Officer Vidar Gomez pointed out that fundamental education levels should be attained for farmers to understand the metrics around productivity, economic growth and modern agricultural techniques.
In an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday, Mr. Gomez explained that the World, African and Zambia included are experiencing a population boom hence the need for farmers to respond to the call for high food production.
Mr Gomes however pointed out that as farmers venture into high agricultural production, they have to take care of the environment, a situation he says demands for a certain level of education in farming.
He suggested that governments should identify individuals with interest in farming early enough and groom them through the provision of education.
The SAIRLA Assistant Programme Officer explained that though ancient knowledge in agriculture was adequate to deal with feeding a small population, currently high technical and competitive farming demands for a certain level of education.
Mr Gomes explained that it is now vital for farmers to understand how to apply chemicals and soil management if they are to get high yields.
He added that through agriculture education, farmers will learn how to use different methods without clearing too much land.
And the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) says it is possible for farmers to move out of poverty.
ICRAF Agroforestry Systems Scientist Patricia Hlanguyo bemoaned a lengthy period of deficit in a year during which farmers are not productive resulting in food deficit.
Dr Hlanguyo accused certain technical advisers of misleading farmers to engage in mono cropping saying farmers should be helped to engage into systems that will ensure they have crops to harvest all year round to end poverty.
The ICRAF Agroforestry Systems Scientist also advised government to identify farmers and move them into farming blocks.
She said creation of farming blocks would enable government access and educate farmers on intensive agriculture hence enabling them compete globally.
Meanwhile, Sustainable Innovations Africa Director Wesley Litaba Wakunuma has called on farmers to respond to the challenges of health by reducing the cost of health.
Mr Wakunuma explained that avoiding certain chemicals in their farming activities farmers can play a role in ensuring a healthy nation.
SAIRLA is a programme that seeks to generate new evidence and design tools to enable governments, investors and other key actors to deliver more effective policies and investments in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification-SAI.
SAIRLA is facilitating the development platforms at local and national levels in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia and between African countries and international research and development players.