Nchalo Greenbelt Limited under Fire for Failing to Pay Farmers

The farmers said that they were persuaded to give out their land to grow cotton with a promise that they will be paid monthly The farmers said that they were persuaded to give out their land to grow cotton with a promise that they will be paid monthly - file photo

Over 450 cotton farmers in Chikwawa have accused Nchalo Greenbelt Limited for failing to pay them their money for the period of seven months.

The farmers under Greenbelt at Mwanawanjovu greenbelt farm led by Smart Thaisoni, Petro Kahumbe and Wilson Edwin have vowed to halt any harvest and transportation of the cotton to the ginners until their money is paid.

The farmers claim their attempts to have the company pay them have been in vain for 7 months now.

They added that they were persuaded to give out their land to grow cotton with a promise that they will be paid monthly.

 "We are not happy. We have spent seven months without pay. This is exposing us to hunger, marriage breaks ups and have their pieces of property seized for failing to pay back debts," complained one of the farmers, Smart Thaisoni.

Traditional Authority Ngowe has asked government to intervene saying the farmers complaints need to be urgently addressed.

"I understand that there was a monetary agreement and business between Nchalo Greenbelt and ADMARC to enhance cotton production. I do not know where things went wrong for Nchalo Greenbelt failure to pay the farmers," explained TA Ngowe, adding that issue needs to be dealt with a lot of urgency.

Nchalo Greenbelt Manager Richard Nkhwazi refused to comment saying this an internal matter which they are currently sorting out.

Our sources within the company have confided in us that Nchalo Greenbelt is owing cotton farmers from Jombo, Nkhwazi and Mwanawanjovu over 90 million kwacha.

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