Govt warns farmers over inputs
Choma, December 9, ZANIS….Government has launched the distribution of farming inputs in Choma district with a strong warning to farmers not resell the fertilizer and seed on the black market.
Officially launching the 2013/2014 farming season input distribution exercise under the Farmer Input Support Propgramme(FISP) today, Choma district commissioner Bernadette Hamweemba said the kick-off of the exercise was a testimony of the importance that the Patriotic Front (PF)government attaches to the agriculture sector.
Ms Hamweemba allayed fears on the alleged delays in the distribution exercise pointing out that the most important thing was that the exercise had started and that the onus was now on the farmers to put to good use the inputs they have received in order to increase food security in the country.
The district commissioner who flagged off the distribution of inputs to Batoka and Masuku farmers however strongly cautioned farmers against reselling the commodity on the black market as doing so would deprive them of the ability to increase food production to reduce poverty.
“ I want to strongly warn you to desist from re-selling the fertilizer because you will not only face arrests but also deprive yourself of increased production to end poverty,” said Ms Hamweemba.
Ms Hamweemba also called for sanity in the entire distribution exercise to ensure that all 21, 185 small scale farmers under the FISP benefit.
Government has since delivered over 42,000 by 50 kilo gramme bags of basal and 9,000 by 10 kilo gramme bags of seed to Choma district while about 42,000 by 50 kilo grammes of urea is being awaited.
And district agriculture coordinator Goliath Chooye advised farmers’ in the area to plant the maize seed before 20th December 2013 if they were to get desirable yields.
Meanwhile, one of the farmers Golden Choongo has called on the government to consider increasing the number of packs from one to two per farmer if they were to realize good crop yields.
He said many farmers are forced to buy more inputs for them to increase their production.
“ We need to see the government increasing the packs per farmer to two so that we can increase our crop production and contribute immensely to the country’s food basket,” said Mr. Choongo.
He also advised the government to send top dressing fertilizer as soon as possible as most of the maize crop had reached advanced stages and require the commodity.