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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently donated assorted mechanization agricultural equipment and machinery worth K1.8 million to farmers in Monze for enhanced crop productivity and production.

Southern Province Permanent Secretary Dr. Namani MONZE says the donated agricultural mechanization equipment include tractors, rippers, threshers, and other crops processing equipment.

The Permanent Secretary who was represented by Southern Province Assistant Secretary Edson Nachimwenda handed over the mechanization equipment to farmers in Siakasenke Agricultural Camp in Monze.

Mr. MONZE said the ministry of Agriculture is to support establishment of community-based mechanization service centres that will provide a full range of mechanisation services to smallholder farmers. 

He observed that mechanisation service provision is especially critical for smallholder farmers who may not be in a position to buy their own agricultural equipment to meet agricultural production requirements.

And WFP Country Resident Representative Cissy BYENKYA says the donated mechanization equipment is meant for the establishment of two mechanization Service Centres and a solar powered irrigation scheme.

Ms. BYENKYA said the mechanization equipment has been procured at a total cost of K1.8 million with co-financing from the Savings Groups and Aggregators.

Ms. BYENKYA notes that the model is anchored on a network of Aggregators and Savings Groups whose capacity has been built over the years by WFP, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Community Development and the private sector.

She explained that the Mechanization Service Centres will provide end to end services to smallholder farmers including land preparation, planting, crop threshing, transportation, and value addition services.

Ms. BYENKYA asserted that through the mechanization service centres services farmers will be able to plant their fields on time, thresh, process, and add value to their produce.

Meanwhile Monze District Commissioner Mwaanza MALAMBO expressed gratitude for WFP for choosing Monze farmers to access mechanization equipment aimed at rejuvenating the agricultural sector.

Mr. MALAMBO said the government of President Hakainde Hichilema is working with smaalholder farmers to ensure that they don't lag in development.

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