Friday, June 14, 2024

Limulunga Farmers Cry For Help

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Farmers in Kaba Hill in Limulunga District of Western Province whose fields are badly hit by the dry spell have appealed to the government to help them secure their household food.

Kashawa Machele says everything he planted is wasted due to the heat and lack of rain wondering where their food will come from.

Mr. Machele who is a beneficiary of the government’s farmer input support programme (FSIP) has thus called on the government to find ways to render food support.

“Government, you are our parent, we ask that you help us with food. This is February and hunger is already hitting, I wonder what will happen in the coming months. Our hearts have fainted within us,” he lamented.

Mr. Machele said farmers in the area do not have water pumps or any irrigation equipment due to lack of funds thus depending entirely on rainfall.

Another farmer Kapoba Kapoba, who planted maize on a four hectares land in the area, said agriculture has failed this farming season due to isolated and scanty rainfall.

“From this four hectare farm we shall be lucky if we harvest 10 kg because there is no promise of even one 50 kg bag. We appeal to the government to help us otherwise they will come to pick up dead bodies,” Mr. Kapoba said.

The trail of destruction left by the dry spell has spared Maibiba Imwaka who planted her maize field earlier on 15th November, 2023 however, fall army worms ate up some of the plants.

Ms. Imwaka appealed to the government to secure chemicals that combat pests early enough so that the destruction is prevented.

“Fall army worms will compromise my yield this year because I didn’t spray on time thus I ask the government to come to our aid timely,” she said.

Ms. Imwaka urged other farmers to consider planting early, noting that even when the dry spell hit the maize would still grow.

Limulunga District Agriculture Office undertook a backstopping and supervisory visit to Kaba hill to assess the impact of the drought and fall army worms.

District Senior Agricultural Officer, Simon Mumba disclosed that fall army worms infection was 38 percent before the department distributed chemicals to combat the pest but after spraying, the impact dropped to 28 percent after farmers sprayed.

Mr. Mumba urged farmers to complement the government’s effort in combating fall army worms by acquiring the needed chemicals.

“We encourage farmers to take action and buy chemicals so that they can spray when they see signs of fall armyworms. All farmers were trained in spraying, scouting and many other agricultural activities by agricultural extension officers,” he said.

Mr. Mumba said that it is unfortunate that with heat army worms also bred and hatch causing the infestation to multiply.
Government distributed 406.25 litres of army worm chemicals to all 25 farming camps of the district.
Meanwhile, Kaba Hill Agriculture Field Camp Officer, Geoffrey Ngwelenge said crops were wilting and army worms have not spared most fields in his camp.

Mr. Ngwelenge said he and other camp extension officers were trained at the province and later trained farmers to control pests.

“Before government procured the chemicals, we trained farmers on how they can control fall armyworms using sand and ash and how to scout their fields,” he said

17 COMMENTS

  1. A month or so ago, the weather man warned that there will e poor rains and a drought in southern part of the country. No one talked about prayers. Govt and churches were all quiet. The crop withered and wasted with no hope of recovery. Last week the weather man said there will be some rains from the 19th February…….Suddenly the president, government and the church from no where sprang up to pray for the rains……
    WHO ARE YOU CHEATING?????? Hypocrits! Why did you not pray from December ????

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    • It is terrible, the damage has been done all we can do is pray for some rains to come so that not all the crop is lost.

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    • am confused, which giveenmwnt are they asking for help? Just 2 weeks ago, Sinyinda said Western Province has nothing to do with Zambia. So why today you want Zambia to give you maize, instead of asking Litunga?

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  2. Guys,
    I have a plan to improve the water retention properties of Zambian soil.
    My plan is:
    —Keep one quarter, 25% of the cultivated area fallow every year
    —One month into the year, plough the new vegetation into the soil
    —Towards the end of the rains, plough the vegetation regrowth into the soil again
    —A month before planting, do a burn, and
    —Practice zero-tillage wherever possible

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    • Good idea. What about reafforestation? There are too many natural forests in Zambia. We need to plant more fast growing trees and increase the heights of water tables. Even with this “drought” we have more water than many countries that produce more food. I think the solution is constructing of more dams, irrigation. We have enough water from the water bodies as well as the electricity for pumping water around the place. We should engage Israelis and dutch govts for advice. Saudi Arabia has been exporting food even though they are a desert country. What are Zambians doing with their votes? get the right people to lead and food will be the least of our problems. We can learn a lot even from Namibia which is desert but exports beef!

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    • @Dobo there are a lot of we we in your reply. Stop for a moment & replace we with I. The UPND Govt is a poor Govt mixo mixo with akaso by Hunger Hinde. Just grow food for yourself & your family even 1 lima rent if you don’t have & use watering cans.

  3. By now government should have assessed the extent of crop failure and it’s impact on the projected yield. With that contingent measures can begin to address food security and how ensure livestock isn’t severely affected. These appeals shouldn’t be taken lightly. When we point out these concerns we’re not blaming HH because it’s his job to address these matters. We don’t want people to die of starvation just when we’re recovering from cholera. Already so many lives have been lost on the roads and in the mines, some won’t even have a decent burial. It’s terrible

    • The Ministry of Agriculture has fine technocrats who are equal to the task. They’re present in every district in the country and they know what to do. Don’t think they’re dumb just because they have not issued media statements.

  4. We warned you about voting for those liars in upnd. Only UKA can save your poor souls. Pray to God for forgiveness

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  5. Govt should not allow Zambians like these in the article to be at risk. Emergency procedures or disaster efforts should be activated immediately. It is important to plan for such events by diversifying agriculture. For example if these farmers had cassava, their well-being would not be at risk. The primary function of the govt is supposed to be social security before other activities.

  6. This is a very sad development especially for people who solely depend on nature to grow their food. Sixty years wasted on politicking… KK had the foresight but didn’t want to learn… the others who followed fell into the trap of self preservation…We should by have organised communities with common irrigation systems. But unfortunately even the current president is guilty of wasting time on politics.

    • Current president is elitist one-nose thinker. His solution is being investors to take our resources and kill local farming, industry and social network.Yaba.

  7. Sad, sad, sad. My suggestion is that rather than limiting FISP to maize only let us distribute cassava cuttings to all small scale farmers as a fallback in case of drought or flooding. Cassava is a a hardy crop which survives both drought and flooding. There is no dignity in being hunger striken and our kith and kin in the entire breadth of our country need to be empowered with the cassava contingency plan.

  8. It would only be fair for DMMU to take stock of all farmers who have been affected and see how they can be helped in terms of inputs next season. Divert CDF and FISP

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