Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fertiliser under FISP arrives in Solwezi
By Vincent Chilikima in Solwezi
Wed 24 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

FERTLISER under the government subsidised Farmer Input Support Programme has started arriving in Solwezi.

North Western Province acting provincial agricultural coordinator, Derrick Simukanzye, says it was unprecedented that D Compound basal-dressing fertiliser was being delivered to the province as early as July.

A spot check by NAIS at the Solwezi fertiliser depot revealed that two trucks had, yesterday, delivered 60 metric tonnes of D Compound fertiliser.

And receiving the fertiliser at the depot, an accountant from North Western Province Cooperative Union, Hector Mumbolomena, disclosed that four more trucks were on their way to deliver an additional 120 metric tonnes of D Compound fertiliser.

And Solwezi acting District Agricultural Coordinator Francis Mwansa confirmed the arrival of the fertiliser and said that the farmers would be elated if the fertiliser stock continued flowing uninterrupted, to meet the 1,115 metric tonnes FISP target allocated to the district.

Mwansa said the early delivery of inputs implied timely implementation of crop management practices by farmers, which would result in high crop productivity and ultimately improve household income and food security.

He explained that farmers would, this year, be expected to plant early with the first good rains adding that 'D' Compound should, simultaneously, be applied at the time of planting the maize seed instead of doing it later when the young plant had developed two or more leaves.

He added that in the past, fertiliser was not applied correctly because urea top-dressing fertiliser was usually delivered earlier than 'D' Compound, long after the farmers had planted their fields.

Meanwhile Simukanzye was optimistic that farmers' yields would be restored after the province last season suffered a 10 per cent reduction which he partly attributed to late delivery of inputs in addition to the early exit of rainfall.

The FISP has in the entire North Western Province targeted 55,080 beneficiaries for maize production, 3,660 for rice and 1,500 for groundnuts.

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