About Four Thousand Seven Hundred Small Scale farmers are set to benefit from a Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Rice dissemination project in Luapula Province.
Project coordinator Goichi Sasaki says the project is helping farmers learn skills on how to plant various seed varieties like Nerica 4.
Mr. Sakaki says JICA is working with Zambia Agriculture Research Institute -ZARI- in Luapula and Chilanga to ensure a variety of NERICA 4 is promoted among the farmers.
He says currently there are more than three hundred rice demonstration fields in Luapula, Northwestern, Western and Eastern provinces.
Mr. Sakaki further says over fifty million Kwacha will be spent in the next five years on the project in the four provinces.
And Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says there is need to reduce the 45 thousand tonne rice deficit in the country through improved methods being introduced by JICA.
Mr. Katambo was speaking in a speech read for him by Luapula Province Deputy permanent Secretary Lloyd Chakaba during a field day event which was held in Fibalala area, in Samfya district.
Meanwhile farmers in Samfya have told ZNBC news that they are now embracing the new methods of cultivating rice.
Titus Chela said from one kilogram of rice seeds he has planted, he is expecting to harvest about one hundred and fifty kilograms of rice.