Kalondolondo project has unearthed a syndicate by some agro-dealer companies who took part in the selling of hybrid seeds in the Fertilizer Subsidy program where Seed-co SC 403 also known as Kanyani and legume CG7 were not germinating with farmers from Mulanje district being the main culprit.
The revelation was made on Friday during a Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme Follow-Up Assessment Report which was presented by the Association for Rural Community Development (ARCOD) in Mulanje District.
In his presentation Project Coordinator for ARCOD Alex Business said farmers from Mwawihe, Chimwala, Chonde and Mgumera complained that they were duped of their money which they used to purchase the seeds because it did not germinate.
“People from the following communities Mwawihe, Chimwala, Chonde, Mgumera and Nachongo reported on a poor quality of a hybrid seed, Seed-co SC 403 (Kanyani) and legume CG7 these seeds were not germinating,” reads part of the report.
Business said even though other farmers bought the other type of seeds the damage was already done as they lost their cash and it was also too late to re-plant the seeds.
“We are talking of a company here which was paid by government to sale the seeds to the less privileged on a subsidized price. In our findings almost 82 per cent of farmers complained that the mentioned seeds did not germinate,” said Business.
Chairman of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Parliament David Luka, who was present during the meeting said this development needs to be investigated thoroughly because government use a lot of money to pay such companies.
“This is a serious case which is supposed to be investigated because government channeled a lot of money paying these agro-dealers. In this case, it means government just paid them money without our farmers benefiting anything,” said Luka.
Luka, emphasized he would present the report to Parliament for further action to be taken because many farmers who planted the mentioned seeds will experience hunger this year.
Barton Chindebvu, who is the Agriculture field officer in Mulanje district, confirmed at the meeting that 205 farmers were affected after the mentioned seed failed to germinate.
“We even lodged a complaint to the company responsible for the seed and they only gave us fresh seeds to 42 farmers meaning the rest were victims,” said Chindebvu.
Chindebvu also stressed that they referred the seeds to Chitedze Research where it was discovered that it was not passed to be sold on the market.
“They told us that the seed did not pass to go on the market. This is surprising because government money was paid to the suppliers,” said Chindebvu.
Kalondolondo Project Officer Jephter Mwanza described the development as a serious one and vowed to table the matter during the stakeholder’s national conference meeting.
Mwanza said it was questionable for the agro-dealers to sale the seed which they knew it was not passed for the market.
He said there is need to investigate the matter to avoid such a scenario in the coming farming season.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :