Kanchibiya Cooperatives which benefited from the Sugarbeans Empowerment Project under 2021 CDF support have 15,313kg (15.3 tonnes) which will be used as seed covering 255ha under 2022/2023 agriculture season. We are targeting 255 cooperatives to participate under the 2022/2023 cycle.
The project faced the following challenges under the 2021/2022 agriculture season:
i. Lack of adequate training for participating cooperatives on how to manage Sugarbeans;
ii. Late planting of most fields, done late February and early March by some cooperatives
iii. Poor rainfall distribution pattern under 2021/2022 (partial droughts during the growing period) and the prolonged dry spells at a time when the crop needed the moisture
iv. Poor managerial practices by some cooperatives (late weeding)
v. Some fields were scorched due to misapplication of herbicides(afribuzin)
vi. Difficulties in spraying during flowering because water sources were very far.
vii. Lack of reliable transportation for monitoring of the fields across the constituency.
We have since agreed on interventions for capacity building targeting all participating cooperatives as well as close monitoring of the fields now that the Constituency will have a vehicle dedicated to CDF projects.
Arising from the challenges encountered, and on the advice of the department of agriculture in the district, all the harvested beans should be ploughed back into the soil for the 2022/23 farming season and not to be sold. This will allow for timely land preparation and ultimately early planting.
Additional recommendations include:
- There is need for an aggregation Centre with storage facility starting with Chikakala to also serve as a seed bank for cooperatives.
- To engage seed suppliers and agree on getting some of the cooperatives to produce beans for seed while others produce for sale to the market.
- Bring on board cooperating partners, donors and other players in the industry like Musika, to support capacity building and the entire value chain
- Post-harvest trainings in Sugarbeans to be conducted to avoid further losses
- Rehabilitation and construction of camp houses to be considered in order to enable Community Extension Officers (CEOs) be placed in areas where there is no accommodation such as Kapumfi, Mwendachabe, Kaonda Mbati just to mention a few.
- To lobby for the procurement of motor bikes for CEOs so that they are able to reach out to far places.
Lastly, let me thank the Department of Agriculture in Kanchibiya District, the Town Council as well as individual cooperatives for every effort even when the weather seemed challenging. Collectively we will rise above the challenges by drawing on the lessons learnt.
Let us work together and harder to establish Kanchibiya Community Seed Banks in all Zones across the Constituency.
Hon Sunday Chanda
Member of Parliament