FARMERS in Chipata district of Eastern Province have protested over government’s delay to give them fertiliser for the 2021/2022 farming season.
The farmers, who stormed the Office of the District Commissioner, Tuesday, demanded that the fertiliser be released immediately so that they would apply it to their maize fields.
Affected farmer Zelipa Njobvu wondered why government was not being honest about the fact that suppliers had not yet delivered D-Compound to Eastern Province under the Farmer Input Support Program.
“Time has gone, officers at the sheds are not telling us the truth on D-compound fertiliser, it is only Urea which is available and we are tired of coming here since October and we are spending a lot of money on transport”, said Njobvu.
And another affected farmer, Dickson Phiri, said D-Compound fertiliser was first to be applied in the field and wondered why the suppliers had concentrated on stocking Urea in their sheds.
“Our crops have grown and we want to apply the basal dressing but there is no D-Compound fertiliser at the sheds. Look at the rainfall pattern, our crops will not do well if we do not apply fertiliser now,” lamented Phiri.
The farmers appealed to the District Commissioner Elidah Banda and Chipata District Agriculture Coordinator Philemon Lungu to intervene in the matter.
Addressing the farmers, Chipata District Administrative officer Kapembwa Sikazwe said his office had held talks with Nerias Investment who confirmed that D-Compound fertiliser would be received in Chipata between Wednesday and Thursday this week.
He said farmers would be informed through their camp officers on the date to collect the inputs for their camps.
“The feedback I have gotten from Nerias Investment is that D-Compound fertiliser is coming between Wednesday and Thursday this week from Mozambique. The trucks are currently loading, so beginning Thursday farmers will be able to begin collecting the inputs”, said Sikazwe.