————————-Government has released K5, 700,000 (Five point seven million kwacha) to settle the farmers’ bill for the maize supplied to the Food Reserve agency (FRA) in Nchelenge District of Luapula Province.
Acting Nchelenge District Agricultural Coordinator (DACO) Wages Mambo and Nchelenge Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Field Facilitator Mabvuto Nkhuwa confirmed the development in separate interviews with ZANIS today.
Mr. Mambo said the government released the funds two weeks ago to the FRA saying so far 90 per cent of the farmers have been paid their money for the 2014 maize marketing season.
He said the government released the total balance which was owed to the farmers for the 123, 641 by 50 kilo grams bags of white maize procured by the agency during the 2014 maize buying period.
He revealed that his office conducted a check at the National Credit and Savings Bank (NATSAVE) in the area and found farmers getting paid.
And Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Field Facilitator Mabvuto Nkhuwa has thanked the government for coming to the aid of the farmers by releasing all the money owed to them.
He said the move by the government to pay farmers their money has settled the anxiety and desperation that engrossed the small scale farmers in the past few weeks.
Meanwhile, Nchelenge District has received 600 by 50 kilo grams bags of D-Compound fertilizer for the 2014/2015 farming season under the Food Security Pack programme for the vulnerable but viable households.
The District Assistant Community Development Officer (ACDO) George Zulu in an interview with ZANIS confirmed the development today.
Mr. Zulu said the district is yet to receive an equal number of top dressing fertilizer, 100 by 10 kilo grams bags of rice seed, 250 by 10 of maize seed and 300 by 10 kilo grams of beans seed under the programme.
He said the inputs are earmarked for Kambwali, Shabo, Mwatishi, Kabuta and Kashikishi vulnerable but viable households for the 2014/2015 farming season.