Kaoma farmers protest over urea

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—-Over 15,000 farmers that were supposed to receive urea fertilizer under the Farmer Input Support programme (FISP) from 500 cooperatives have not yet received their packs in Kaoma district of Western province.


This came to light when a mob of irate farmers stormed the office of Kaoma District Commissioner, Joster Manjolo, as Provincial Minister, Josephine Limata, paid a courtesy call on him today.


Speaking on behalf of other farmers, Mika Simonda said the delay of distributing urea fertilizer to farmers will affect the 2013/14 farming season as the crop season is almost coming to an end.


Mr Simonda urged government to speed up the distribution of the top dressing fertilizer and predicted that the district would be hit by serious food shortages causing the price of the staple food to go up if the inputs were not distributed in time.


He said some farmers were supposed to graduate from the FISP but the slow pace by government has affected the process and that farmers will continue depending on FISP programme year in and year out.


And an interview with ZANIS, Kaoma District Agricultural Coordinator, Aubrey Chanda, said the district has received 7, 500 x 50 kg bags of urea fertilizer while over 17,000 X 50 kg bags of D-compound have already been distributed to farmers in all the cooperatives in Kaoma.


And Western Province Minister, Josephine Limata, has pleaded with the irate farmers for the delay in distributing urea fertilizer and assured that government will immediately send the consignment to the remaining cooperatives in the district.


Ms Limata said farmers should forgive government for the delay, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture will expedite the process of distributing urea in order to end the cry of farmers in Kaoma district.