Farmers in Mpika District of Muchinga province have predicted a bumper harvest from this year’s farming season following the government’s early distribution of farm inputs .
Ministry of Agriculture Mpika District Marketing Development Officer (DMDO) Charles Simukonda confirmed receipt of Urea and D-compound fertilizer at NERIA’s Investments limited Mpika depot a week after President Edgar Lungu’s directive for the early countrywide distribution.
“We have started issuing out inputs to deserving cooperatives as a district we have a target of 8960. Where we are here at Neria sheds we have 38,780 X 50Kg bags of D compound and 29,180 X 50 Kg bags of Urea fertilizer.” Said Mr. Simukonda.
He said the Mpika district has 8960 farmers and 6000 have already deposited their K400 contributions.
He said farmers will concentrate on maize production because inputs are readily available for them, adding that they will plant early and manage the crops very well.
He said in the wake of COVID-19, a struck schedule has been clearly outlined to avoid crowds.
“We have the pandemic which is COVID-19, so starting early has given us to make a schedule where we are not calling all the farmers at the same time. So we have tried to make a schedule where two agriculture camps are coming per week so that we avoid COVID-19 you know crowding is not acceptable we have been warned by the ministry of health to maintain social distancing.” He stated.
Meanwhile Mpika District’s Chavuma Co-operative chairperson Wilson Mwase has commended the government for the early distribution.
“As cooperatives, we are very happy for the early distribution of inputs. This is good for farmers as they will have enough time to prepare in advance, it will also create space for the allocation of delivered inputs to farmers.
He said the Patriotic Front government has done what other Governments failed to do since 1999.