Farmers from Kalomo have traveled to the capital Lusaka with a mission to meet the Permanent Secretary under Ministry of Agriculture on the implementation of the just ended E-voucher Farmer Input Support Program.
The delegation of farmers have completely disregarded advice from Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Julius Shawa through the local authority in Kalomo, urging them to cancel their trip and avoid straining their budgets because the closure of the support program is irreversible.
This is according to information made available to Voice of Kalomo by District Council Chairperson, Coy Makaya in an interview on Tuesday morning (30th January, 2018).
Mr. Makaya says a lot of farmers will not access inputs under the Evoucher Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) this year due to delays in the implementation of the process.
Out of over 20,000 farmers that received Authority to Deposit (ATD) documents, only about 16,000 farmers have managed to credit the Bank for inputs in Kalomo.
The figure lies below the estimated average 24,000 farmers usually captured under the empowerment program since its inception, even further below the over 28,000 farmers allocated for the support program in Kalomo district.
Although farmers have blamed their failure to deposit on the agriculture department’s failure to avail ATD documents on time, the department says some farmers held on to their ATDs without depositing, despite being given in good time.
Voice of Kalomo Community Radio Station