FARMERS DOOMED, SAYS SAFADA
By GIDEON NYENDWA
HICCUPS being witnessed in the agriculture sector indicates that farmers are doomed, Small Scale Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) president Boyd Moobwe has said.
Mr. Moobwe said the continued rejection by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to buy maize from the farmers that were previously allowed to reach depots after announcing that it had extended the buying period painted a bad picture.
He said it was quite sad and disappointing because this gives an impression that small scale farmers would continue suffering and would not enjoy their business of farming.
Mr. Moobwe said the agriculture sector had continued to face challenges because of small issues that the government was failing to handle such as shortages of empty bags.
“These kind of issues can be addressed within seven days,” he said.
He said it was disappointing that FRA still had issues of having no cash to pay farmers and transporters.
Mr Moobwe said this situation was quite worrying because this was the time that farmers were supposed to be getting their monies so that they start preparing for the next farming season.
He also said the auditing of Farmer Input Support Program(FISP) will delay famers’ preparations and this would further delay the take off.
Meanwhile Mr. Moobwe also said farmers anticipate that the national budget to be presented this month may not address prominent issues affecting the agriculture sector because farmers and agriculture was not being respected.
He said with the promises that UPND made during the campaigns it was expected that the Government would heavily subsidize the agricultural input to enable farmers access farm inputs like fertilizer at K250 as per promise.