For Immediate Release
Monday 31st August, 2015
LAUNCH OF TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR THE AGRO-DEALER CHEMICAL SAFETY CAPACITY BUILDING AND CERTIFICATION INTERVENTION BY THE ZAMBIA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCY (ZEMA) AND CROPLIFE ZAMBIA
The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and CropLife Zambia have embarked on an intervention to build the capacity of over 350 agrochemical dealers, countrywide, in chemical safety practices and environmental management, and ensure certification of their operations as a legal requirement.
The intervention by ZEMA and CropLife, supported by Musika, is aimed at equipping agro-dealers with the right information on general agrochemical knowledge and safe handling practices through training workshops to be held in Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern provinces of Zambia. It will further assist rural agro-dealers to comply with national laws on agrochemical management and disposal and develop confidence in the smallholder customer base with the assurance that they are purchasing genuine products, coupled with the right product information.
With the technical and financial support provided by Musika, ZEMA and CropLife developed appropriate tools and training materials including logistical support for monitoring to ensure compliance to the rules and regulations with regard to labelling, handling and storage, especially by agrochemical dealers operating in rural communities. As a body representing the agrochemical industry, CropLife has been instrumental in mobilising and securing ‘buy in’ from suppliers and ensuring that the issue of environmental ‘stewardship’ and safe use of agrochemicals was a priority among its member organisations.
The Agro-dealer Chemical Safety Capacity Building and Certification intervention will result in the development of a data base of certified agro-dealers and enable the development of systems of policing and monitoring the agro-dealer sector including illegal trading and those selling counterfeit agrochemical products by ZEMA.
For Musika, the intervention is an effort towards integrating environmental stewardship as a cross-cutting issue during the implementation of various interventions with its private sector partners, and increasing awareness on ‘safe use’ of agrochemicals at the lower end of the market.
Musika supports the development of a dynamic ‘last mile’ distribution network for inputs such as seed, fertiliser, farm equipment and agrochemicals, accompanied with the technical information necessary to encourage adoption of productivity enhancing technologies to maximise the benefit of their usage among smallholder farmers. With Musika support, over 1,300 sales points providing products and extension service support, coupled with product knowledge have been developed benefitting about 109,000 smallholder farmers, countrywide. Ends.
Notes for Editors
About The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)
ZEMA is a statutory body created under The Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011. It is mandated to provide for integrated environmental management and the protection and conservation of the environment and the sustainable management and use of natural resources. Some of the specific roles of ZEMA include enforcement of regulations, advice to government on formulation of policies, good management of natural resources, and advice on environment, conservation, protection, pollution control, research, investigation and training.
Ireen Lungu – Public Relations Manager
About CropLife Zambia
CropLife Zambia is the industry association that draws its membership from the agrochemical companies. It is mandated to ensure solutions to industrial wide based challenges and has a specific responsibility relating to ‘stewardship’ and the safe use of agrochemicals.
Perry Ngoma – Communications & Outreach Manager
Musika is an independent Zambian non-profit company supported by the Embassy of Sweden and the UK Government in Zambia to stimulate and support private sector investment in the smallholder and rural markets.
Musika’s operations are national in scope and stretch across the agricultural industry, working primarily with those corporate entities in the sector that are committed to engaging the rural poor as their clients, suppliers and consumers. Musika’s clients are those agribusinesses that demonstrate both the willingness and the ability to develop strong and constructive commercial relationships with the lower end of the agricultural market.
Through the provision of high quality, commercially focused technical support and a range of smart, catalytic investments aimed at reducing the initial risks involved in exploring, testing and developing new markets, Musika stimulates and deepens commercial engagement with the rural poor and seeks to fundamentally change the way agricultural markets work with and benefit the smallholder sector.
Pamela Hamasaka – Communications & Outreach Manager
+260 211 251371 / 0977475323