Irate Choma farmers besiege DACO office, protesting against failure access to fertiliser.
Angry farmers this morning besieged the office of the District Agriculture Coordinator (DACO) in Choma protesting against failure to access subsidized fertiliser.
The irate farmers who vowed not to leave the DACO’s office until they were given a satisfactory answer as to why they cannot be given fertiliser, only reluctantly dispersed after being addressed by District Commissioner Golden Nyambe.
The famers complained to Mr Nyambe that they have suffered a great deal as they have been spending nights in the cold waiting to receive fertiliser from Omnia Fertiliser Company but to no avail.
Speaking on behalf of the angry farmers, Stanley Moyo lamented that life has become so unbearable for the farmers as many of them are going without meals because they have run out of money for both
lodging and food.
Mr Moyo told the District Commissioner that farmers have been subjected to inhuman treatment by Omnia Fertiliser Company which they accused of failing to provide any answer as to why they cannot get the commodity.
But Mr Nyambe assured the angry farmers that they will receive their fertiliser by Friday.
Mr Nyambe blamed the situation on Omnia Fertiliser Company which he said has lamentably failed to meet its contractual obligation.
Farmers in Chadiza district have complained over the underweight bags of fertilizer that is being supplied by Omnia in the area.
And Chadiza District Commissioner Paul Phiri who visited some farmers said government’s policy of eliminating hunger among the vulnerable farmers is being defeated by people who are supplying underweight bags of fertilizer.
Farmers of Ambidzi cooperative have since complained to government over the underweight bags of Basal dressing fertilizer that has been supplied to their area by Omnia Company.
Ambidzi Ward Councillor Ponsiano Phiri and Village headman Kabuula Weakman Banda both complained of the underweight bags of fertilizer that farmers have received in the area.
“We were only told that fertilizer has come and when we went to share it we discovered that the bags have been pierced with some sharp objects like a knife and the fertilizer has been drained out of the bags there by making them under weights,” Phiri said.
He said that when they asked the Cooperative Vice Chairperson who went to collect the consignment he responded that all the bags in the Omnia warehouse were underweight and that there was nothing he could have done to refuse the commodity after spending two weeks just to collect the fertilizer from the boma.
And Chadiza District Commissioner Paul Phiri who visited the farmers in the area said the situation was very bad because government was spending a lot of money in order to see that farmers received full bags of the commodity in order to alleviate hunger in their households.
Mr Phiri said the purpose of eliminating hunger at house hold level was being defeated because the fertilizer that farmers were receiving was not the right quantity.
He expressed sadness that some farmers were receiving a bag each while others were receiving two bags which were also under weights instead of the normal full four bags per pack.
Mr Phiri has since directed the farmers not to apply the underweight bags of fertilizer until he confirms with Omnia and also the transporter who was engaged in transporting the commodity to the area.
And in a related development a man of Tando Village in Chief Zingalume’s area is nursing multiple injuries after a stack of fertilizer collapsed on him at the Omnia shed.
Alumankio Ngombe who is complaining of multiple body pains and external injuries was trying to pull a bag of fertilizer from a stack at the Omnia shed when the whole stack of more than 50 bags buried him alive.
Ngombe was only rescued when some farmers realized that one of their colleague was missing and started searching from the collapsed bags before they discovered him underneath a pile of bags.
Ngombe was quickly rushed to Chadiza clinic where he received treatment and was later discharged and taken to his village where he is nursing the injuries.