Luanshya Copper Mines Chief Executive Officer Wang Jingiun says the growing farming community in the district has posed a serious challenge on government to provide farming inputs.
Meanwhile, CNMC-LCM has donated farming inputs to the farmers in Luanshya for the 2019/2020 farming season.
Jingiun said this when he donated bags of seeds and fertilizer to Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda and Luanshya Central Member of Parliament Steven Chungu.
“The growing community in Luanshya has posed a challenge on the government to supply farming inputs. I am pleased to announce that this year, we have decided to donate fertilizer and seed to the vulnerable but viable farmers at the cost of K110,000 inputs this year. We have doubled the quantity of both seed and fertilizer,” Wang said.
He said LCM was going through challenges but has decided to help the vulnerable farmers.
“Despite the past challenges our company has continued to face due to the pressure on the global economic downturn, we have nevertheless continued to support our small scale farmers. This demonstrates the importance we attach to the social and economic well being of the people of Luanshya,” said Wang.
Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda said the gesture to support farmers comes at a time when the country is trying to diversify from mining to agriculture.
“These donations are made despite the company facing some financial operational challenges. But we will create an environment for you to operate freely. The local authority will ensure that you operate well. We want to assure you that these inputs will be put to good use. These inputs will go to the intended beneficiaries. We want to commend the President Dr Edgar Lungu for the first time, that the inputs for the farmers have been received on time in the entire Copperbelt province,” said Chanda.
“Once we support the agriculture sector, then we are assured of food security. Please don’t sell these inputs that you are given. Let us make Luanshya the food basket of the Copperbelt.”
Later, Chungu expressed concern that only the same farmers were benefiting from the support.
He said the fertilizer and seeds will be taken to the churches who will identify the vulnerable.
“Since 2009, LCM has been giving out seed and fertilizer. But it is the same farmers who are benefiting. Are they growing or what? So we will take the fertilizer and seeds to the Church who will identify the vulnerable farmers,” Chungu said.
However, the truck carrying the fertilizer and seeds was offloaded at the Luanhsya Municipal Council, a sign that the inputs will not be take to the Churches as directed by Chungu.