Eleven farmer cooperatives in Chief Kawaza’s Chilembwe Agriculture Camp in Katete have called for the dissolution of Camp Agriculture Committee CAC, citing mismanagement.
Speaking at a meeting where over 120 farmers sought audience with Katete District Commissioner, Joseph Makukula and District Agriculture Coordinating Officer, Robby Musendo, the farmers said they feared living in continued poverty if government does not remove the entire leadership of the CAC.
Edward Zulu one of the farmers from Walalata Cooperative said farmers were wondering if government was paying its camp officers adding that the agriculture camp officer at Chilembwe Agriculture Camp has been charging farmers and issuing threats to those that failed to pay.
Mr. Zulu explained that each time the officer conducted meetings with farmers, she and other members of the committee demanded allowances not exceeding 300 Kwacha as transport refund.
He said this year alone, farmers were forced to contribute 1,500 Kwacha for old cooperatives and 1,000 Kwacha for new cooperatives as maintenance fee of the camp.
Mr. Zulu added that farmers wondered why they were meant to pay maintenance fees besides paying for their shares at their respective cooperatives.
The farmers further asked government on the quantities of fertilizers released for their cooperatives at Chilembwe Camp under FISP, the Farmer Support Input Program adding that despite paying, some farmers have not received full packs.
And Katete District Agriculture Coordinating Officer, Robby Musendo warned of stun action to any camp officer or Camp Agriculture Committee members that will be found abusing the programme.
Mr. Musendo promised to dissolve all Camp Agriculture Committees that would be found mismanaging the programme.