CHIEFTAINESS Nyanje of the Nsenga people in Sinda has advised government to do away with the electronic voucher system of farmer input distribution, which she said has instead robbed farmers. Speaking to farmers on Saturday during Kapoche East agriculture show in Nyanje under the them: Enhancing industrial development, chieftainess Nyanje said some farmers have not received inputs they paid for last year.
She said the government plan was okay but the people implementing it were confused and dishonest, resulting in the programme becamingunfriendly to farmers.
“In Chikalaba, farmers are complaining that they haven’t received the seed and fertiliser for last year under this thing they say voucher. We don’t know what government has done but I strongly believe the problem is with officers who are disturbing the system. These leaders are crazy and they have made the e-voucher to have no profit or benefit to the farmers,” she said. “It’s better avileke (they stop it) because farmers have been robbed monies through it as they give money to thieves.”
Chieftainess Nyanje urged farmers to work hard and avoid being deceived with huge sums of money to sell all their produce.
“Please farmers, reserve some maize for home consumption, don’t rush for money, money is not eaten even if you throw money and maize to a chicken, it will definitely pick maize to eat. Some of you sell maize and use money to drink beer; that is too bad. Please consider your families, keep your children. Some sell maize, which they don’t have but they steal from other, which is so dangerous indeed. Work hard and have your own crops,” chieftainess Nyanje advised.
She also expressed worry at this year’s hunger situation because most farmers did not have enough production. She also warned farmers not to depend on government for relief food but to preserve what they have for food. Meanwhile, guest of honour, district agriculture coordinating officer Henry Mkulumoya, who was represented by Ezra Tembo, a district national registration officer, said high poverty levels could only be fought through enhancing industrial development.
Mkulumoya reminded farmers that the farmer input support programme was developed by government to benefit the vulnerable but viable farmers in order to promote food security.
“I urge you farmers who are beneficiaries of this programme to avoid being abused or deceived by fellow farmers or agro dealers but to seek clarity from camp officers or DACO’s office before redeeming the inputs,” Mkulumoya said.
He urged farmers to avoid depending on chemical fertilisers but to adopt compost manure which does not spoil the soil. He also encouraged them to venture into livestock farming. And Chingombe ward counsellor Stephen Tembo called on farmers to practice smart agriculture by adopting the diversification programme.
And winners at the show received sprayers, cooking pots, mobile phones and money.