Financial support is being offered to women to secure inputs through a loan initiative launched by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), says ZNFU women farmers’ forum president Doreen Mwanza.
She disclosed that the union was offering loans to women to enable them access inputs.
“We have some interventions, we are giving out loans to women to help them access the inputs such as fertilizer and feed.
‘‘In this scheme the women will pay just 25% to access the inputs, when they do their limas and finish their marketing season, then they will repay the loan,” Mrs Mwanza said.
She advised female farmers to join ZNFU groups in their communities to enable them get loans.
Mrs Mwanza observed that the biggest challenge that female farmers faced during farming season, especially those in rural areas, was lack of funds to buy inputs.
“Most of the women’s biggest challenge now is to find money to buy inputs on cash, as you know the price of a bag of fertilizer is over K360, so it is very difficult for women in rural areas to find that kind of money, because even feed was now being sold at over K180,” she said.
Mrs. Mwanza said the ZNFU had put in place special interventions to help such women.
Mrs. Mwanza said the ZNFU had information centres throughout the country which provided information on how female farmers could improve their productivity and access inputs.
“So I advise these women to join our groups at a local level, because that is the only way they can access these inputs and become members of ZNFU,” she said.
Mrs. Mwanza urged women to not only concentrate on growing maize, but also to diversify and think of other crops they could grow to support their families.
“They should not just think of growing maize, but also about other crops such as sunflower and beans; these are easy to grow and can earn enough money and also help them to support their families,” she said.