Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Late delivery of farming inputs to lower maize yields this year-Farmers Union

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Last year's Maize from the bumper harvest in Kapiri Mposhi
File: A maize Storage facility in Kapiri Mposhi

The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) says the late delivery of farming input is likely affect this year’s maize harvest in Kasempa district.

And Ministry of Agriculture and livestock also states that 1,512 farmers did not apply Urea fertilizer to their maize fields by 31st January 2013, a situation likely to result in a reduction of maize production.

This was disclosed during the District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC) meeting which was held recently in Kasempa where it was revealed that late delivery of fertilizers would affect crop yields and increase poverty levels in the area.

ZNFU Kasempa Executive Manager, Cletus Lwiindi said during the meeting that the union is working towards encouraging farmers graduate from depending on farming inputs from government by promoting the Lima Credit Scheme.

Mr Lwiindi said 650 farmers members had access to the scheme and were able to buy fertilizer from Nyiombo Investment limited for this year’s farming season.

He however said some farmers were affected by the late delivery of fertilizer and recommended for government’s intervention in order to avoid the situation from reoccurring in the next farming season.

And in his report, District Agricultural Coordinator Gabriel Chitumbo highlighted areas where farmers received Urea fertilizer by 2nd February 2013, as Jifumpa, Kanongo, Njenga, Kamakechi, Mukunashi and Lubofu among others.

Mr Chitumbo attributed the shortage of fertilizers in the district to Nyiombo Investment which had sold fertilizers meant for famers to the ZNFU and created scarcity of the commodity.

Mr Chitumbo has since recommended for government and Nyiombo Investment Limited to build more storage sheds specifically for the Farmer Input Support Programme.

Meanwhile, the Zambia Meteorological Department is anticipating poor crop yields following the late distribution of farming inputs and dry spells experienced in some parts of the country during the early stages of the rainy season.

According to a Crop Weather Bulletin issued by the department for the period 11th to 20th February 2013, most of the top dressing fertilizer application was done late and well beyond the recommended crop stage while fertilizer distribution was still ongoing in some parts of the country

The Crop Weather Bulletin further states that water logging in some parts of Southern Province resulted in maize crops becoming stunted and turning yellow.

However, the Bulletin describes the crop condition as fair to good, but cautions that production was likely to reduce compared to last season mainly due to the delayed fertilizer distribution.

Furthermore, the Zambia Meteorological Department has assured that the late planted maize had a high chance of reaching maturity.

ZANIS

5 COMMENTS

  1. No problem. The soon to be 100 Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers will buy food for the nation from their hefty salaries and allowances. Guy Scott has also assured the nation that he will supply each Zambian with 730 dishes of Haggis per year for as long as the PF is in power!

  2. There are no Agric trained staff who understand agric at FSP its just full of PF cadres who think they can deliver urea fertilizer before D-compound.

  3. When shall we stop hearing this same story of late delivery of agric inputs and late payment to farmers for their produce? What’s wrong with our leadership and govnt?

    Shame!!!!!!

  4. ZAMBIA NEEDS A SHARP-MINDED PRESIDENT, AND SATA IS NOT! WHAT ELSE DO YOU EXPECT UNDER SATA’S LEADERSHIP OTHER THAN CHAOS, INCOMPETENCY AND CORRUPTION? ITS ANOTHER FIVE WASTED YEARS FOR ZAMBIA.

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