Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Jobbicks Kalumba has called for the immediate arrest of a local agro dealer trading as Mukwasu for allegedly failing to supply inputs to over 600 small scale farmers in Chinsali district.
The agro dealer is reported to have failed to supply agro inputs to the farmers for the past one month now despite having successfully swiped their e-voucher cards and received a top up of K40 cash from each farmer for the three bags of fertiliser and seed.
Dr. Kalumba said the agro dealer should be found, arrested and compelled to supply inputs to all the affected small scale farmers without any further delays.
Over 600 small scale farmers in Chinsali district of Muchinga Province have been spending nights in the cold at the agro dealer’s shop for some time now.
Mukwasu agro dealer, based at Chinsali central market, allegedly swiped e-voucher cards for over 600 farmers a month ago but has failed to supply them with the agricultural inputs that include fertiliser and seed.
The agro dealer is also alleged to have gotten K40 cash from each farmer for the three packs they were due to receive.
The farmers say the agro dealer told them to pay a K40 extra because the price of fertiliser had gown up.
The farmers, who stormed the office of the Provincial Permanent Secretary this morning, charged that efforts to get their inputs from the agro dealer in the past one month have proved futile.
One of the affected farmers, Belita Chibansa aged 78, from Masandiko village, told the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS ) in an interview that she was promised to receive the inputs three weeks ago after successfully swiping her e-voucher card and paying a top up of K40 cash but to date, she has not received the inputs.
Another farmer George Katongo said the agro dealer has been promising to supply them with inputs for the past one month.
Mr. Katongo complained that continued failure to supply the farmers with inputs is affecting their farming activities.
He said the continued delays by the agro dealer to supply them with inputs will also affect crop production for the 2019/2020 farming season.
He has since appealed to government to quickly intervene.
When contacted for a comment, the agro dealer identified only as a Mr. Sakala, promised to be in Chinsali this morning to give the affected small scale farmers their inputs.