22 January 2013

Zambia: Nyiombo Defends Fertiliser Deal

NYIOMBO Investments, a company contracted to supply fertiliser to farmers in the 2012/2013 farming season, has defended itself from criticism, saying it has performed well in the delivery of inputs to farmers.

Farmers from various parts of the country have complained that the company has delayed in delivering the inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Agriculture and Livestock Minister Emmanuel Chenda last week said he was disappointed with the performance of the company and that he had received numerous complaints on the delayed delivery of fertiliser to the farmers.

But Nyiombo Investments operations manager Kwazi Dlamini said the company had not delayed and that so far, 90 per cent of the fertiliser had been distributed.

Mr Dlamini said from the eight years the company had participated in the distribution of inputs, this year had been the best.

He said the distribution of top dressing fertiliser would be completed by the end of next week, while that of D-compound would be completed by the end of January.

He said in the last three months, the firm had delivered about 100,000 tonnes of fertiliser to various parts of the country.

Mr Dlamini said the challenge Nyiombo Investments faced was that there was a short period from the time the contract was awarded and the time to start delivering the inputs.

He said the distribution of fertiliser was not as easy as some people thought because there were issues of rain, warehouses and transport arrangements.

"Distribution of 80,000 tonnes of fertiliser in two months is a job well done for us," he said.

Mr Dlamini claimed that farmers who complained in Kapiri Mposhi and Kasama had already received the inputs.

He said the distribution of the inputs was on course as per the contract and that farmers should not panic as the flow of fertiliser would continue.

On accusations that some farmers received less quantities, he said those were isolated cases which should be pin-pointed so that they could be attended to.

The Government awarded Nyiombo Investments a contract to supply 41,185.50 tonnes of D-compound and 52,251 tonnes of urea for the 2012/2013 farming season.

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