KATIMA MULILO - The farmers in all eight constituencies of the Zambezi region will soon receive tractors from the agriculture ministry to cater to their ploughing needs.
The region recently received a total of 32 ploughing tractors from the government which are currently parked at Kalimbeza rice project for safekeeping before they are distributed to needy farmers around the region.
Agriculture ministry’s spokesperson Jona Musheko yesterday confirmed that the ministry is busy with final touches before disbursement of the tractors can commence.
“We are finalising arrangements to have the tractors moved to various agricultural development centres in various constituencies. We are done with hiring drivers or operators, and their training will also resume in a few days,” he revealed.
As the ministry concludes all the arrangements meant to assist farmers during this season, Musheko encouraged farmers to fully utilise the provided ploughing services from the government.
These services include tractors, subsidised seeds, and advisory services brought forth by the government to produce beyond what the nation needs and be able to have surpluses.
Following a rather poor harvest experienced this year, Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu also encouraged crop farmers to start preparing their fields for the rainy season to tackle food insecurity.
Currently, many residents in the Zambezi region face food insecurity due to late rains and seasonal floods experienced early this year, which left numerous with little to no harvest at all.
Sibbinda councillor Mickey Lukaezi encouraged farmers to start preparing their fields for the rainy season and applauded the government for availing the tractors. He urged farmers to make sure their fields are cleared well to avoid these new tractors getting damaged while ploughing.
“The tractors are good news for farmers. We only had two tractors in the whole Sibbinda constituency. This is a relief. We urge the ministry to distribute them urgently to constituencies so people can start ploughing early. The recruitment of seasonal drivers for these tractors should also commence without delay,” he stressed.
Due to many livestock which have been hard hit by drought, Lukaezi called on farmers to stock up mahangu, sorghum, and maize leftover stalks once they are done harvesting so they can use them as animal feed at a later stage when animals need it most.
Equally, he called on farmers who still have oxen that are in good condition to assist other farmers who have none to plough.
“Let us go back to our culture of giving a helping hand to others in need,” he said previously.