FARMERS who sold maize to the Zambia Cooperative Federation in Kasenengwa Constituency have complained over the federation’s delay in paying them. ZCF allegedly received maize from the farmers in 2016 but has to date not paid them. Speaking during the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction interface meeting with farmers in senior chief Nzamane’s area last week, one of the affected farmers Elias Mwanza said it was unfortunate that the ZCF was delaying to pay them.
“I don’t know how we are going to be helped as farmers. We have tried all means but we have not been paid. We went to the provincial permanent secretary’s office, we went to the provincial minister’s office but all they told us was that Lusaka was aware about this issue and that they were doing something. They told us to wait but there is nothing coming forth up to now,” Mwanza said.
He said there were over 50 people in his area who sold maize to ZCF.
“I have failed to take my children to school and my farming has gone down as a result of not being paid by ZCF. I sold 97 bags to ZCF in 2016 and I was selling my maize at K2 per kilogramme,” said Mwanza.
And Chipata District Farmers Association coordinator Virgil Malambo said ZCF was not being helpful to the farmers.
“From 2016 up to now, farmers have not been paid by ZCF, is that being helpful? Please let ZCF pay the farmers here in Eastern Province! This is the reason why we destroy the cooperatives on our own. You go to the farmers, you use the name of ZCF to get maize but you fail to pay the farmers and this simply means you have killed the farmer,” Malambo said.
He said ZCF should pay farmers in Chipata and Chadiza districts.
“It’s always unfortunate that we want to take advantage of the farmers. Instead of helping them to develop, we are the ones destroying them. We ask ZCF to pay farmers,” said Malambo.