Mufumbwe, February 07, 2015, ZANIS—Farmers in Mufumbwe district in North Western province have commended government for introducing rice seed on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the district.
Government has so far provided 100 by 10 kilogramme (kg) bags of rice seed for the 2014/2015 farming season in the District.
95 bags of the rice seed, which is been given out for the first time to farmers, has since been distributed to cooperatives in the area.
Speaking in separate interviews with ZANIS today, the farmers said the introduction of rice seed on this year’s season package will not only promote crop diversification in the district but also benefit farmers economically.
49 year old Josephine Kawana said government has done well to include rice seed in the farmer’s packages because there is a lot of demand for rice in the markets.
Ms Kawana said more farmers growing rice this season will help reposition government’s agriculture programmes that seek to boost the economy.
“A lot of people have improved themselves and become rich because of rice, so we appreciate government for including it on the package,” she said
Ms Kawana however called on government to increase the number of fertiliser bags supplied to the district stating that last year’s supply was not enough.
Another farmer, James Kakoma, said the introduction of rice on the FISP in Mufumbwe will ensure that farmers desist from being overly dependent on maize for their production.
Mr Kakoma has since called on government to increase the number of bags or rice seed in order to meet the demand in the district.
“Rice is very good, it’s a good way for us to stop concentrating too much only on maize. Rice is a very good alternative so government must give us more,” he said.
And the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has received 5500 10kg bags and 2400 10kg bags of maize and groundnuts seed respectively in Mufumbwe.
Assistant District Marketing Development Officer, Catherine Kaputula, says a total of 5487 10 kg bags of maize and 1518 10kg bags of groundnut seed has since been distributed to farmers in the district.
Ms Kaputula speaking on behalf of the District Agriculture Coordinator (DACO) disclosed that government has distributed over 11,700 50 kilogramme (kg) bags of D. Compound fertiliser to cooperatives out of the supplied 12, 300.
She said government has also distributed 10885 50kg bags of basal fertiliser to farmers out of the 11, 100 received so far in the district.