Missing seed carrying truck panics farmers

Christine Daka, small farmer in Zambia

Panic has gripped farmers and agriculture officers in Kabompo over a truck carrying seed under Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) from Lusaka to the district that is feared to have gone missing.


Senior Marketing and Development Officer Dennis Munachusa told ZANIS in a telephone interview that a truck carrying 3,000 x 10kg bags of maize seed from Lusaka started off last Monday for Kabompo but had not yet arrived.


Mr Munachusa said the whereabouts of the truck is not yet known as the mobile of the driver is constantly out of coverage area.


He said the only possibility could be that the truck broke down in a place where there is no network and his office is now making efforts to trace what could have happened.


And several worried farmers from Dikolonga area stormed the office of District Marketing Development Officer John Kapata to register their concern over the delay to receive seed.


The farmers are panicking that the time to plant maize is running out and any further delay might lead to poor maize yields.


Dikolonga cooperatives Chairman Gobra Sakazawu and Lunyiwa ward councillor Rickson Munyongi expressed fear that farmers in the area might not access FISP inputs this year because roads to the area become impassable due to floods as a result of heavy rains.


The duo appealed for speed delivery of fertiliser and seed to Kabompo district especially to Dikolonga which is about 150 kilometres from Kabompo and is usually cut off by mid December every year.


Some farmers have started buying expensive seed from the shops to try and beat time of planting despite having paid to purchase subsidised seed from government.


Meanwhile Mr Munachusa has since directed Kabompo District Marketing Development Office to start distributing the 11,099 bags of D-compound to farmers who have deposited their money.