ZSIC Limited is assessing crops in Southern Province to ascertain farmers who have been affected by the dry spell for possible compensation.

This will only apply to those farmers who have insured their crops against natural calamities.

According to the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) Friday brief availed to the Daily Mail on Monday, ZSIC Limited’s preliminary crop assessment conducted in Choma has revealed that the crop damage was due to the two-month dry spell and further complicated by the current heavy rains.

“Affected farmers are being advised not to harvest their crop until ZSIC Limited completes the final assessments. While the affected farmers are worried, ZSIC is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that compensation for the crop damage is inevitable” the statement reads.

The report also says the situation is similar in Kalomo, Livingstone, Kazungula and Sinazongwe.

However, ZSIC says the final stance will be made after the final crop assessments at harvest time.

Meanwhile, Government has bought 17 motorbikes for agricultural extension staff to ease their movement in Northern Province.

The motorbikes were acquired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock under the Small Holder Productivity Promotion Programme with supported from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Northern Province agriculture coordinator Andrew Banda urged extension officers to work hard and improve productivity of beans, cassava and rice – the crops being promoted under the programme.

In Petauke, Profit Plus and ZNFU have conducted a community agro-dealers’ training whose objective is to find ways of resolving the challenges which farmers face when it comes to accessing agro-inputs and output markets in the rural communities.

It has been observed that most of the agro-dealers are only trading in urban areas, making it difficult for smallholder farmers in the villages to have access to quality agro inputs.

 

BY TRYNESS MBALE

SOURCE: Zambia Daily Mail

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