Chipata district has recorded a 43 percent increase in maize crop harvest this year.
Chipata District Agriculture Coordinator, Michael Ngulube confirmed this to Breeze News.
Mr. Ngulube says the maize crop harvest has increased to 4 million 115 thousand by 50 kilogram bags this year compared to last year when the district harvested 2 million 885 thousand by 50 kilogram bags.
Mr. Ngulube attributed the increased harvest to good rainfall that the district received in the 2016/2017 season and quick intervention by government to curb fall Army worms that had attacked the crop.
And Mr. Ngulube explained that the district has also increased its yields in most crops this year.
He says groundnuts yield has increased by 55 percent as the district is expected to harvest slightly over 479,000 by 50 kilogram bags this year compared to 309, 952 by 50 kilogram bags harvested last year.
Mr. Ngulube says most farmers in the district have cultivated soya beans this season, which has resulted in an increase of 70 percent of the crop yield.
He says the district will harvest 500,000 by 50 kilogram bags of soya beans this year compared to 200,000 by 50 kilogram bags harvested last year.
Mr. Ngulube added that Tobacco has also recorded an increase of 55 percent while sunflower has increased by 15 percent.
Two people have drowned in separate incidences in Chipata and Chadiza districts.
Chipata City Council Chief Fire Officer, Fackson Mbewe confirmed the incidences, which occurred yesterday to Breeze News.
Mr. Mbewe says Isaac Banda aged 35 of Undi Village in Chiparamba area drowned in Fisheries Dam near Gonda Barracks in Chipata.
Mr. Mbewe says Mr. Banda went fishing at the Dam when he meet his fate.
He says the body was retrieved by the fire rescue team around 15 hours yesterday and has been handed over to the police.
Mr. Mbewe added that Isaac Zulu aged 12 of Manzuzo Village in Chadiza drowned in a well and his body was retrieved by the Fire Rescue team around 08 hours yesterday.
Mr. Mbewe says Isaacs’s body has been handed over to the police in Chadiza.
Some cyclists in Chipata have vowed not pay any levy to Chipata City Council.
This follows a meeting which was held on April 20, 2017 where the local authority directed cyclists to start paying levy.
One of the cyclists Peter Tembo told Breeze News that not until a meeting for all stakeholders is called, cyclists will not pay levy to Chipata City Council.
Mr. Tembo who is also Kapata ward PF Chairperson says all cyclists have agreed that the provincial permanent secretary must attend the meeting and confirm that the directive to have cyclists start paying levy was issued by President Edgar Lungu.
He says that during the meeting held on the 20th of April 2017, Director for Housing and Social Services at Chipata City Council Judith Maambo told the cyclists that President Edgar Lungu directed councils to start charging cyclist levy.
Mr. Tembo says representatives of the President such as Provincial Permanent Secretary, District Commissioner, Mayor, town clerk and councilors need to affirm what the president had said about cyclists paying levy.
He argued that since late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa had directed that cyclists stop paying levy to the council, it is only the head of state, who can reverse the directive.
People of Chief Kapatamoyo’a area in Chipata have asked government to work on M’noro-Mnukwa road.
Kennedy Mwale of Chongololo Village says that the road has remained in a deplorable state for a long time.
He says the road is very important to people of the two chiefdoms, as it joins them to other areas and Chipata town.
Mr. Mwale also noted that due to the absence of proper bridges, pupils from Chongololo, Chikwala Kelevasi and Sacia find challenges to attend class at Chisomo Primary School.
He noted that the people also find serious challenges to take their farm products to markets due to the poor state of the road and bridges.
Mr. Mwale also says people in the area are ready to contribute the 25 percent required from community members on developmental projects.
Government has been called upon to open all tobacco floors in Eastern Province for this year’s marketing season.
United Party for National Development UPND says that reports that farmers will only be able to sell their crop at a floor in Chipata town are worrying.
UPND Provincial Spokesperson, Victor Mbuzi says that TBZ, the Tobacco Board of Zambia should ensure that Mugubudu, Zemba and other floors in the province open.
Mr. Mbuzi says that farmers will make losses if they are forced to transport their produce to town, which might also result in congestion.
He says that his party is deeply disappointed to learn that Mugubudu floor has been closed.