Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says government has now given farmers a time frame in which to deposit their K400 contribution in their bank accounts in order to avoid delays in distributing inputs.

In an interview with News Diggers! Monday, Katambo said the K400 contribution by farmers will have to be made between June and August.

“We noted the challenges that we faced towards rolling out the e-voucher system. My ministry has thus far put in place some measure among them ensuring that farmers deposit the money on time. That money, the K400 will have to be deposited between June and August every year. So that’s a 90 days period for them to ensure that bring that money on time. You don’t need to deposit all the money at once, you can start with even a K20. Next time K40 until you deposit the K400. Those that won’t deposit on time, that is why we are engaging the media and everyone else to ensure that our farmers are sensitized and know the time frame for depositing the money. Delayment in depositing the money that is one reason why we had that delayment in delivering the inputs. If they can’t do that, then we might delay because we need them to do their part. Who will you blame in that case?” Katambo asked.

“We have also been in touch with the Treasury and I’m glad to tell you that as soon as the 90 days are gone the Treasury will disburse the funds to the various financial institutions that will be awarded tenders to supply inputs to the farmers. That means farmers will be able to get their farming inputs as early as late August every year.”

Meanwhile, Katambo expressed optimism that the country will record a good harvest despite challenges in the last farming season.

“Eastern province is one province that does not disappoint in terms of harvests. So even this farming season, we expect that there will be a good harvest in that province. And I want to take this opportunity to remind farmers to diversify their crops. Nowadays the climate is constantly changing so it is imperative that they are ready for anything. And that is why we have introduced them to the weather index insurance so that in case the weather disappoints, atleast they can claim something. This is all for their good,” said Katambo.