NWK to spend K6m on farmer support

Rural farming

NWK Agri-Services intends to spend about K6 million this year to assist small-scale farmers acquire equipment to increase productivity.
Last year, NWK, which is formerly Dunavant Zambia Limited, launched a mechanisation programme to help farmers acquire equipment with 94 tractors and assorted accessories being handed over to beneficiaries in Central, Eastern and Southern provinces as at December, 2014.
NWK Agri-Servinces chief agricultural services officer Kelvin Hambwezya said the firm plans to continue with the programme this year in an effort to address challenges faced by farmers in acquiring agro-equipment to move away from the traditional farming.
Mr Hambwezya said in an interview on Tuesday that most small-scale farmers have no access to finance from banks due to lack of collateral which affects their chances to buy equipment.
“As at December, 2014, we had spend about K2.8 million and handed over 94 tractors under the mechanisation programme. It is doing well as farmers have been able to prepare land on time using the equipment they received. This year, we intend to double or even triple the amount we spend last year to over K6 million so that more farmers can benefit from the programme,” he said.
He said about 200 tractors will be handed over to farmers in Eastern, Southern and Central provinces this year and the company is working with Zanaco, Barclays and FNB banks to assist with finance.
Under the programme, the firm will also provide farming inputs and educate farmers on new technologies of agriculture in light of the changing weather pattern.
Mr Hambwezya said currently, NWK is working with farmers in provinces where it has presence but, intends to expand the programme to other parts of the country in future.

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