One hundred and forty farmers in Chipata’s Kasenengwa Constituency have been left in a dilemma after having paid membership fee of 100 Kwacha each to ZNFU, the Zambia National Farmers Union.
A field visit to Ngo’ngwe ward in Chief Madzimawe’s area by CDFA, Chipata District Farmers Association revealed that the farmers, who pay subscription fee to access farming inputs on loan under the Lima Credit System, were not receipted.
This is after ZNFU introduced a system of buying maize from their farmers under the 2014/2015 farming season.
The farmers explained that they were told by the maize buying officer from ZNFU that the union will retrieve the subscription fees and make loan recoveries from the money owed to the farmers from maize sales.
The officer however, declined to issue out receipts for the transactions made, on the pretext that the Union was in a hurry to make payments to the farmers three days after purchasing.
But to the contrary, 24 farmers, who sold their maize in August, have not yet been paid, whilst all the 140 farmers who sold to the union have not been receipted or recorded in any book.
The farmers expressed concern on what basis they will be able to access the inputs for the 2015/2016 farming season without any proof of payments made.
Meanwhile, CDFA, the district association through which ZNFU reaches out to farmers in Chipata, has expressed ignorance of the paid membership subscriptions.
District Coordinator, Virgil Malambo revealed that his association is only aware of 4 farmers who have paid subscription fees with receipts issued out, and not the 140 as claimed.
Mr. Malambo expressed disappointment with the development, and promised the farmers that he would engage ZNFU, over the matter.