Small scale Farmers in Chikankata have asked FDD President Edith Nawakwi to extend her Party’s Agriculture Start-Up Grants to their area as Government has not delivered any inputs to date.
Headmen from10 villages gathered and waited for hours to present their challenges to Ms. Nawakwi after they heard that she would be in Mulando village to monitor the delivery of Soya Bean seed to women from 10 cooperatives in Chikankakata.
Speaking on behalf of the 10 headmen, headman Osborn Mwanza of Simuyandi village asked the opposition leader to come to their aid as hunger will be inevitable if no one helped the small scale farmers in the area.
He explained that Government had initially taken fertilizer to the area but that the supplier had gone back to the area and collected the commodity. He further said the fertilizer has since been given to Agro dealers who are dealing in the E- Voucher system at exorbitant prices.
Headman Simuyandi called on President Lungu and his Agriculture Minister, Given Lubinda to stop playing politics with people’s lives as their claims that they have delivered farming inputs was untrue further advising them not to let what happened to mine workers happen to the farmers in the country.
“We heard that you were coming to meet women from our villages and we decided to gather and wait for you because we have heard that your party is helping small scale farmers. We also want you to talk on our behalf and take a massage to President Lungu and his Agriculture Minister that we have not received any inputs here. We had received some fertilizer but even that is no longer here because the supplier came back and took it to some agro-dealers who are dealing with the E- Voucher,”Osborn Mwanza who is headman Simuyandi said.
Meanwhile Headman Mulando of Mulando village lamented to the opposition leader that his subjects did not understand the use of the new system in accessing inputs as no one had taken time to explain it to them.
He added that the E- Voucher cards could only be accessed in Mazabuka hence adding to their costs while not increasing the number of bags for fertilizer and seed.
“We are being told to get some cards for us to access these inputs but no body has taken time to educate me and my subjects on how we should use these cards to access farming inputs. Our leaders have not come here to help us with the knowledge we need to use this E-Voucher thing of theirs”, he complained .
And responding to the headmen, FDD President Edith Nawakwi said the only reason Government was delaying to give them inputs was for President Lungu to use the hunger situation in the country to secure votes next year.
She told the headmen that President Lungu was deliberately creating a situation which he will use to ask for votes by giving the voters free mealie meal which he will get from his solar powered hummer mills.
She advised the headmen to devise plans and use alternative sources of manure such us cow dung as relying on Given Lubinda and his President will only make their families suffer and in the worst cases die of hunger.
The opposition leader was in Chikankakata to monitor how the FDD Agriculture Start-Up Grants Project which she launched last month was progressing.
Women of Mulando, Mulezema, Mweene, Kagoka,Hamunleala, Kasas, Kalinda, Nyaadu Choongo, Haachamba and Simuyandi will benefit from the grant in Chikankata, Southern Province.