SOUTH FARMERS CRY FOR FERTILIZER PRICE REDUCTION
SMALL scale farmers in South- ern province have call on the UPND government to quickly implement its campaign prom- ise of reducing the price of farming inputs before the onset of the rain season to boost pro- duction.
Among the campaign prom- ises that won the UPND the just ended elections was that it would reduce the cost of farm- ing and improve production in the agriculture sector aimed at assuring food security at house- hold and national level.
The Republican President Hakainde Hichilema then in op-
position leading up to the 12 Au- gust 2021 elections, in a message to his supporters, pledged that when his party formed govern-
ment in August this year, they would lower the price of a 50kg bag of fertilizer to K250 from about K700.
The farmers spoken to by the Daily Nation said while it was too early to expect the new gov- ernment to provide immediate reduce for the the price of seed and fertilizer, they are hopeful that this will be done before the onset of the rain season.
A Chikankata based small scale farmer Chimuka Malam- bo said the new Government should quickly recapitalize the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), to boost production and ensure the reduction of fertil- izer prices which currently are
paged at over K700 per 50kg bag. He said the farming season for many local farmers who depend on rains is fast approaching, with expectant farmers won- dering if the reduction will be
effected this farming season. He said Government should ensure that farmers access fer- tilizers at cheap price to enable smallholder farmers to continue producing food at a profitable
cost in the absence of subsidies. Mr Malambo said small scale farmers are the backbone of the country’s food security and therefore should be supported through reduction in the cost of production to enable them produce more for the country.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO