More than USD $7 billion has been raised by THE United States of America (USA) for the purpose of assisting Zambian and African farmers.
According to Vice President Kamala Harris, the funds, which were raised with the help of the private sector, will support almost 116 million farmers in Africa.
Since then, Ms. Harris has praised the efforts at Panuka Farms in the Chisamba district, whose agricultural innovation is assisting in preserving the nation’s food security.
As Ms. Harris visited Panuka Farms today, she said the fund will serve as a model for helping farmers across the African continent deal with the devastating effects of food insecurity brought on by climate change.
“When I think of what is happening at Panuka , it is not only a model of innovation and inspiration, but it also shows the amount of work being put up to reduce green house gases and so we advise the world to follow suit. Last year for example in Somalia, 43,000 people died due to drought, in Malawi more than 500 died due to effects of tropical cyclone Freddy and in Nigeria 1.4 million were displaced due to floods. That is why this trip has been about uplifting innovations such as at Panuka where smart innovation in Agriculture is being used,” she said.
Ms. Harris pointed out that Panuka’s innovative approach to farming might benefit farmers across the continent since it will provide them with tools to assist forecast crop seasons and also help them get ready for storms, droughts, and floods to help improve food security.
“We know climate change disrupts food supply and so Panuka will be used as a model for what can be done elsewhere. For example what is being done is high-tech where a phone application is being used to track the health of plants and also use of solar energy to power buildings such as irrigation systems,” she said.
Ms. Harris argued that it was regrettable that, despite being the lowest emitters, Africa suffered the most from the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the US is supporting agricultural innovation to encourage a continent with a strong economy and reliable food supply.
Through Ms. Harris, Bruno Mweemba, the founder and chief executive officer of Panuka Farms, expressed his appreciation and joy to the US.
According to Mr. Mweemba, Panuka, which translates to “innovation and hard effort,” was established in 2017 with the intention of showing that Zambian farmers can serve as an example for other farmers around the world in the field of agriculture.