Saturday, June 15, 2024

Farmers call for reduction of fertilizer prices


Small-scale farmers in Kasama district have called on the government to work on reducing the price of farming inputs to motivate more people to venture into agriculture.

Speaking in separate interviews with ZANIS, John Bwalya said the price of fertilizer is too high for small-scale farmers.

Mr Bwalya said most of the farmers did not cultivate their maize fields last year because of the high prices of farming inputs.

“We will be very grateful to the government if the price of fertilizer is reduced. We are really struggling to raise money for fertilizer,” Mr Bwalya said.

And Mwila Musonda said there is need for the new administration to deliver on its campaign promise of reducing the price of fertilizer.

“I failed to cultivate one of my farms last year because of the high price of fertilizer,” Mr Musonda said.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Sichamba said the agriculture sector could greatly contribute to the country’s economy if the price of farming inputs was reduced.

Mr Sichamba said the prevailing shortage of mealie-meal in the country is a threat to the country’s food security.

“We need to produce more maize to address this problem of shortage of mealie-meal. As farmers, we are ready to do our part if our Government works on the price of fertilizer. The price of fertilizer is too high for the farmers,” Mr Sichamba said.

Mwila Mutale said farming inputs should be affordable to an ordinary farmer and delivered on time.

Mr Mutale described the last two farming seasons as challenging.

“We received the farming inputs very late. It is also important to state that most of the farmers ended up losing their maize crop,” he said.

Speaking during the Sunday interview on the Zambia National Broadcasting Services (ZNBC), United Party for National Development (UPND) Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa assured the farming community in the country that government is working hard to reduce the price of fertilizer.

Mr Mweetwa said D-Compound fertilizer will be locally sourced unlike in the past when the commodity was being imported from other countries.

He said government has contracted the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and United Capital Fertilizer to supply the much needed D-Compound fertilizer for the 2023-2024 farming season.

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