GOVERNMENT UNEARTH FARMING INPUTS SCAM IN NORTHERN PROVINCE
Government has unearthed a scam where some cooperatives in Northern Province who are getting farming inputs on behalf of farmers are under declaring the number of packs to their groups.
Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Bernard Mpundu says government has received reports that the cooperatives are stealing inputs from farmers.
He said this has resulted in cases of farmers sharing the small packs of inputs among themselves.
ZANIS reports that Mr Mpundu has since directed District Commissioners in the province to go on the ground and verify the packs that all cooperatives have received during this year’s farming season against what has been declared.
He said government will not spare any cooperative leader who would be found to have stolen inputs meant for farmers.
Mr Mpundu said this when he addressed the community in Chilubi district.
Meanwhile, Mr Mpundu has expressed worry about the slow rate at which farmers in Chilubi are redeeming farming inputs.
He explained that as of last week, only nine percent of farmers in the district had redeemed their inputs.
Mr Mpundu has since urged farmers to quickly redeem their inputs so that they can start planting.
He has also warned farmers against selling their inputs saying anyone who will be found doing so would be blacklisted from the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
And Chilubi District Commissioner, Risto Mushembe emphasized the need for farming inputs to be given to the right people.
Mr Mushembe said government has not reduced the number of packs that are given to farmers but it was unscrupulous people who were declaring fewer packs to their members.
He has, however, warned of stern action against anyone found wanting.