Selected Chisamba farmers to receive 25% debt relief from agro-focused firm


One Acre Fund has announced a drought relief package, offering 25 percent debt forgiveness for some farmers in Chisamba District of Central Province.

These farmers had previously benefited from the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the last farming season.

The debt relief follows the devastating drought declared a national disaster by President Hakainde Hichilema, who called for assistance for farmers severely impacted by the crisis.

Announcing the development in Chisamba on Tuesday, One Acre Fund’s Field Execution and Impact Lead, Isabel Phiri, said the organization was moved by the number of farmers who had taken loans and were struggling to repay them due to the drought’s impact.

Phiri also mentioned that in the next farming season, farmers would benefit from subsidized farming inputs. Those already on the program will receive a subsidy of K500, while new participants will receive K200. These measures are part of the efforts to alleviate the burden on farmers affected by the drought.

“I hope the drought relief package will support farmers affected by the drought as it is in line with the Presidential directive,” Phiri said.

District Agriculture Coordinator (DACO), Belvin Muntanga, commended One Acre Fund for the initiative, noting that it would significantly help farmers facing challenges due to recent climatic changes.

Muntanga emphasized that the government appreciates stakeholder engagement in efforts to address the drought situation and ensure food security.

At the same event, Chief Chamuka of the Lenje-speaking people of Central Province issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to resolve issues related to buying maize for relief. Chief Chamuka threatened to report to President Hakainde Hichilema if the FRA did not comply.

He criticized FRA’s requirement that maize be sold to groups of ten, stating that it was impractical because people do not experience hunger simultaneously. He also pointed out the complications in the registration process, which require farmers to travel to the district office, making it difficult for them to access maize.

Chief Chamuka further urged One Acre Fund to address other challenges, such as sinking boreholes. “To overcome a natural disaster, we need to work together to mitigate the effects of drought because the government alone cannot manage without our support,” he said.

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