A Farmer’s group in Chipangali District has commended government for giving it a grant of over K 1.7 Million to carry out various activities to improve livelihoods of people in the area.
Cholinga Farmers’ Group Chairperson, Francis Banda said the grant which had come at a right time, will help alleviate the suffering of most households in Eastern Province.
Mr Banda said the group is expected to venture into fish farming and intends to sell the product to all the districts in the province so as to raise funds to sustain the project.
Mr Banda was speaking when Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary, Trevor Kaunda, visited the project site to check on how the works were progressing.
Mr Banda said out of the total grant of K 1,716, 602-00 received through the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project (ZIFLP), the group has already received K 429, 00-00, representing 25 percent of the total grant which has been used to dig four fish ponds and pay for the sinking of a borehole among other activities at the project site.
‘’ We have dug four fish ponds of 20 by 30 metres including paying for the sinking of a borehole and we promise to do our best to sustain the project, ‘’ he said.
And National Development Planning, Permanent Secretary, Trevor Kaunda said government was happy to see that the group was busy with works at the project site after it received its initial 25 percent of the total grant.
Mr Kaunda noted that government through ZIFLP will ensure all the remaining funds of the grant are disbursed so that the group fully implements its project activities.
‘’ We are happy to note that you are on the ground working and we want to assure you that we will send you all your remaining funds so that you do all your activities here,’’ he said.
The Permanent Secretary also urged Eastern Provincial Administration to ask the contractor to quickly sink the borehole at the site because money has already been paid for the exercise.
Mr Kaunda was accompanied to the site by Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Josphat Lombe and ZFLP National Coordinator, Dr Tasila Banda.
The 32 member Cholinga Farmers’ Group which is situated in Chief Mshawa’s area in Chipangali District, is expected to venture into fish farming, maize and tomato growing and tree planting.