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800 expired maize bags destroyed

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Ministry of Agriculture in Monze has destroyed over 800 by 10 kilogramme bags of expired maize seed under the farmer input support programme for the 2014/15farming season due to failure by some farmers to meet their contributions towards the buying of inputs.
According to a Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) weekly brief availed to the Daily Mail on Friday, Government destroyed the expired seeds to protect farmers from being exploited by unscrupulous people who may dubiously get the inputs and resale on the open market.
“These seeds were not collected and utilised after some farmers could not meet their contributions towards the purchase of inputs. The destruction of the seed is meant to prevent cases where expired seed is found on the market,” ZNFU says.
Meanwhile, some Copperbelt farmers have called on Government to expedite the process of delivering inputs under the e-voucher system.
ZNFU says the affected districts include Ndola, Luanshya, Kitwe, Mufulira, Chingola and Chililabombwe, with over 30,000 farmers expected to benefit from the new FISP e-voucher programme.
“Farmers have complained over the delayed implementation of the FISP e-voucher system. They have further complained about the lack of communication on the progress of the programme when the actual distribution of inputs would start,” the union says.
ZNFU says the farmers have since urged Government to revert to the old system if they are not ready with the newly- introduced e-voucher system.

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