SUN REPORTER writes
SCORES of farmers from various agriculture camps in Kalomo have appealed to government to investigate some agro dealers who have failed to supply them with inputs despite having redeemed their card less accounts for the 2017-18 farming season.
The farmers who marched to the local police station to lodge their complaints and dragged along the district agriculture coordinator, (DACO), Cynthia Nambao said their fields were affected due to the non-availability of fertilisers from appointed agro dealers by the agriculture department who failed to supply them with the inputs. “These card less accounts under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) were redeemed in July last year but up to now we have not received our inputs. Now we are told we can collect our inputs but these agriculture officials have allocated us to agro dealers, who can’t supply us with fertilisers,
“We have lost a lot of money on transport from our villages to town from November up to now. Pease can government intervene in this issue,” complained one of the affected farmers, Alfred Mudenda from Kanchele camp.
Investigations revealed that Baambe, Pulda, Kembiola and Power Times were among the agro dealers where farmers had redeemed their FISP accounts for the agro inputs but had delaying to supply them with fertilisers.
Earlier, Southern province PF information and publicity secretary, Paul Silungwe expressed concern on how farmers were treated by some agro dealers .
He said the conduct of some agro dealers in he province were tarnishing the image of government which has done enough to make farming a profitable and viable business especially for the peasant farmers by subsiding the inputs.
And local agriculture coordinator, a Ms. Nambao when contacted over the matter said the allocation of farmers to agro dealers was done by ministry of agriculture headquarters and referred all queries to the local police who she said had since instituted investigations into the matter.
However, one affected farmer, Bernard Muleya from Bbilili camp blamed the agriculture department for not scrutinising the agro dealers who did not have the capacity to deliver according to the expectations. Several farmers in the district were still redeeming their FISP accounts for this farming season with agro dealers in town