Saturday, November 29, 2008

(LUSAKATIMES) Solwezi district makes K 800 million from fertiliser sells

Solwezi district makes K 800 million from fertiliser sells
November 29, 2008

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Solwezi district has received more than K800,000,000 from sales of fertilizer and seed under the Fertilizer Support Programme to farmers in the district.

Acting District Marketing and Cooperatives officer Francis Mwansa said in an interview, Friday, that his office has collected K872,908,572 from farmers through maize seed and fertilizer sales in less than two weeks but due erratic supply of fertilizer all stocks has since been exhausted in the shed.

Mr Mwansa said that his office only received 15,352 x 50kg bags (1919 packs) instead of 19,200 x 50 kg bags (2400 packs) resulting in a serious shortage of both urea and basal fertilizer in the district.

He nevertheless, advised the farmers to only deposit money for maize seed so that they are able to plant as they wait for more fertilizer expected to be delivered soon.

He appealed to farmers not to panic as the situation was being handled by higher authorities to ensure that the remaining fertilizer is sent to the district.

By Tuesday this week about 136 registered cooperatives had collected their consignment of fertilizer from Nyiombo depot.

Meanwhile 15 registered cooperatives from Mushindamo block may not benefit from this years fertilizer support programme due to the late submission of the farmers applications forms.

Chairperson for Lwambanga cooperative, Abel Kafwimbi said that he was not happy that his block had been left out in this year’s fertilizer support programme.

Mr Kafwimbi, who is also Vice Chairperson for Mushindamo block, said that the fertilizer got finished and the entire Mushindamo block only managed to get 240 x 50 bags (30 packs) which have not been collected yet.

The cooperatives that submitted late include, Kafifolo, Lubinga, Lifesaver, Lunga source, Kan’gamo, Kyamato, Mushindamo, Masaka, Milembe, Kashiba, Kyafulabunga, Lwamibanga, Kasanfu, Kapako and Minkonk.

However, District Agriculture Committee Chairperson (DAC), Paul Chipoya said the distribution of the fertilizer has been okay.

He said that the number of bags of fertilizer was too low as compared to the number of applicants, adding that farmers bought off all the stocks in the shed resulting to some cooperatives not benefiting.

Mr Chipoya said that Mushindamo block should not blame DAC for not participating due their late submission of applications, but told the 15 cooperatives that in case of any additional fertilizer the DAC may considered them.

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