Sinda District Agriculture Coordinating Officer (DACO) Henry Mkulumoya says farmers in the district abuse their hard-earned income after selling their crops by frequenting bars to indulge in alcohol consumption, among other illicit activities.
In an interview, Mkulumoya observed that in most cases, farmers opt to not go home after selling their merchandise, but chose to rush to bars, and also kept ignoring the effort that women and children put into growing and producing the cash crops for market.
“Our farmers, especially the male ones, when they sell their merchandise, they don’t rush home to sit down and make plans with the family on how to use the money, but they opt to rush in bars to drink beer, while some create some temporary marriages yet wives and children who laboured are waiting at home,” Mkulumoya lamented.
He said it was sad that farmers do not realise the hard processes they undergo from land preparation to harvest, which was usually lost within an hour.
“They don’t realise that the cost of their production is very, very high. Imagine, the whole investment to go in an hour or days’ time. They prepare land, plant, weed, apply chemicals, harvest, prepare for market, transport to the market, but surely, in an hour the whole lot of monies is gone! It’s very unfair, indeed. To tell you the truth, these farmers are going through hardships, which they need to think twice before they misbehave,” Mkulumoya added.
He pointed out that in most cases women and children were the ones that do the hard field work, but that when time to sell comes, women and children were ignored.
“These men are not the only ones going in these fields. Mostly, these men are not there as the women are the ones doing everything together with children, but when time comes to go to the market, those people who laboured are not considered and counted on. All the men can do is to squander the monies and misuse it!” complained Mkulumoya, who also added that some farmers engaged in gambling.
On Tuesday, a farmer from Chief Mbangombe’s area, Pirila Mbewe, was beaten and lost about K1,000 in a gambling scam after he sold his soya beans.