Farmers in Zimba District to access farming inputs.
Zimba, July 25 2014, ZANIS —- Farmers in Zimba District will receive agriculture farming inputs under the Fertilizer Support program (FSP) for the first time.
Zimba district commissioner Elizabeth Kalaluka says the storage for the inputs has already been secured through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Ms. Kalaluka has for this reason advised all councilors in the area not travel to Kalomo for the inputs this year.
ZANIS reports that the DC disclosed this during an ordinary council meeting in Zimba District, yesterday.
“We are bringing the farming inputs to Zimba District and help you cut on transport costs to and from Kalomo District where you have been accessing the inputs.
“The PF government is working at bringing services closer to the people through decentralization and that is why his Excellency President Michael Sata declared Zimba a district.”She said.
The District Commissioner also told the councilors that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA)’s office in the District.
Ms Kalaluka assured the councilors that farmers will be selling their crops to FRA within Zimba District.
She said her office together with FRA was engaging banking institutions so that payments of farmers are also done locally.
And District Assistant Agriculture Marketing Officer Mutinta Hayongo said the storage building for the farming inputs has since been inspected and the seed and fertilizer will be in soon.
Ms Hayongo also confirmed that FRA will be buying the maize from Zimba District and then transport it to either neighboring Kazungula or Kalomo districts for storage.
She explained that Zimba District has no maize storage facility as yet and thus the reason for the maize to be stored in the neighboring districts.
Meanwhile Area Member of Parliament Clive Miyanda says it was saddening to learn that Zimba district is leading in animal death rate.
Mr. Miyanda said farmers are giving blind treatment to their animals because they do not know the disease that is killing them.
He appealed to the ministry of agriculture to get into the field and collect blood samples so that the disease can be known.
“We are not asking for drugs, we are doing blind treatment without knowing what is killing our animals, we are just appealing to the department of livestock and veterinary to quickly take the blood samples and enable the farmers buy the correct medicine,” He said.
And in response, District Agriculture information officer Notulu Tembo told the member of parliament that the blood samples had already been collected and taken to Lusaka for testing.
Ms Tembo said that as soon as feedback is given from Lusaka, the farmers will be communicated to.
She said the camp officers are on the ground and are sensitizing the farmers on animal diseases and treatment.
And Luyaba Ward councilor Moonga complained that most camp officers in Zimba district do not stay in their camps but in town.
Councilor Moonga demanded that the officers be stationed in their camps so that they can easily serve their farmers.
And in response Ms Tembo attributed the development to lack of accommodation in the camps.
She said most camp houses are dilapidated and need rehabilitation.
She assured the councilor that as soon as resources are made available the houses will be rehabilitated and have the Camp officers occupied them.