The Barotse Royal Establishment at Kaunga Mashi Palace has called on the Ministry of Agriculture to consider conducting demonstration exercises on the importance and
benefits of fertiliser for farmers in Sioma and Shangombo district in Western Province.
Speaking during a Shangombo and Sioma rural basket stakeholders’ consultative meeting organised by Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Indun Ing’amba noted that traditionally people of
Western Province have since time immemorial believed that the use of fertilizer damages the soil.
The Induna said despite the current seed and fertilizer pack costing too much for local farmers in the areas, there was urgent need for people to be educated on the use of fertilizer in an effort to boost
the yielding capacity in the two districts.
And speaking at the same meeting, Mubita Mashande, a farmer, called on government to separate fertilizer from maize seed to enable people have a choice when purchasing inputs.
Mr Mashande explained that many farmers have a problem with buying the current pack due to the cost, adding that some farmers do not appreciate the fertilizer in the pack.
Meanwhile, JCTR Social Economic Officer, Faith Adwoko, said Shangombo and Sioma districts have recorded an increase in food basket this year as opposed to last year when farmers had nothing to sell to the Food Reserves Agency (FRA).
Mrs Adwoko, however, stressed more efforts have to be made by all stakeholders during the 2014/2015 farming season for continued increased food security.
She noted that Shangombo and Sioma districts have also improved in access to safe drinking water, quality health care and education in a number of communities.