ZAMBIA – Zambia has achieved a significant milestone in its onion production landscape, transitioning from a reliance on imports to becoming self-sufficient in onion production.

Jervis Zimba, president of the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) proudly declared this remarkable milestone noting how the feat was achieved without importing the product for the past two years.

For years, the onion market in Zambia reflected the economic uncertainties of the nation, with price fluctuations causing concern among consumers.

However, recognizing the detrimental impact of heavy reliance on imported onions, the Zambian government implemented measures to bolster local onion production.

By imposing restrictions on imports, the government created an environment conducive for local farmers to flourish, thereby enhancing both the availability and affordability of onions for consumers across the nation.

As of now, Zambia produces a whopping 40,004.45 tons of dry onions. “Picture this, it’s like stacking 40,004.45 giant onions, each weighing a ton, side by side. A fragrant, tear-inducing tower that stands testament to Zambia’s agricultural prowess,” outlined ZNFU’s report.

This pivotal shift was supported by collaborative efforts between the government and the Zambia National Farmers Union, aimed at equipping local farmers with the necessary tools and knowledge to enhance onion cultivation.

Improved access to quality onion seeds, coupled with training in modern farming techniques such as optimal spacing and disease control, empowered farmers to significantly boost their yields.

Moreover, a strategic focus on irrigation further facilitated successful onion cultivation, ensuring a steady supply of the crop throughout the year.

The tangible impact of these interventions is evident in Zambia’s supermarkets, which are now abundantly stocked with locally grown onions at stabilized prices.

Evelyn Mumba, a consumer, expressed her relief, stating, “Onions used to be a luxury in our house, but now I can afford to add them to our meals more regularly.”

This transformation underscores the power of targeted government intervention in bolstering local agricultural production and improving food security.

The success story of Zambia’s onion revolution serves as a blueprint for achieving agricultural self-sufficiency across various crops.

President Hakainde Hichilema has been vocal in his encouragement of young Zambians to consider agriculture as a viable and empowering career path. Minister Reuben Mtolo echoed this sentiment, affirming, “We have the potential not just to feed ourselves but to become an exporter.”

The government’s ambitious agenda includes plans to replicate this success in other crops, with rice cultivation slated as the next priority.

By leveraging local resources and expertise, Zambia has emerged as a beacon of success in the realm of agricultural self-sufficiency, setting a precedent for other nations to follow suit.

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