HUNDREDS of farmers in Central Province have not yet been paid their dues for maize delivered to FRA during the last farming season despite Government’s declaration that all farmers in the country have been remunerated.
One of the affected farmers Mr Peter Simpito, of Serenje in Ibolelo area said to date some farmers have not receive their money and that this had remained a challenge that had affected most of the farming activities not just in Serenje but most parts in the country.
Mr Simpito also said most of the farmers in the area had not yet received the farming inputs like top dressing fertilizer, a situation which he said would contribute to more challenges facing farmers.
He appealed to the Government to immediately pay all the farmers to lessen their suffering.
Last week Agriculture minister Wilbur Simuusa announced that the Government had released money to pay all farmers in Zambia and that they would be paid before Friday last week.
Mr Simpito said since last week farmers have been spending nights in the cold waiting to be paid but all had been in vain.
He suggested that Government must come up with another mode of paying farmers on time, adding that the majority of farmers countrywide faced challenges that could have been sorted a long time ago.
Mr Simpito said the recently established pilot project by Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) to improve access and delivery of agri-finance and marketing to small-scale farmers should be extended to many farmers if the challenges being faced were to be addressed. He said farmers were important players in the national economy and key to the country’s food basket. He also said that coming up with private sector inputs financing schemes would help facilitate cost effective, safer and timely payment of farmers.