GIZ, Fair Trade Africa Bails Out Sugarcane Farmers
About 800 sugarcane farmers in Chikwawa have received a big relief after GIZ through Fair Trade Africa bankrolled K34 million to support local relief, resilience and recovery initiatives to alleviate challenges posed by COVID-19.
Trust Manager for Kasinthula Cane Growers, Charles Chavi, told Zodiak on Friday that K20 million has already been spent to buy bags of maize and sanitary materials to help the farmers to fight the pandemic.
"The K34 million grant will target 782 farmers. The aim of the money is to support the farmers in procuring COVID-19 protective materials and food stuffs in the wake of the pandemic," said Chavi.
He said items like bags of maize, buckets, tablets of soap, sanitizers, bicycles among others have already been bought.
"We will make follow ups to monitor if the farmers are really using the items in preventing COVID 19," explained he.
While thanking GIZ and Fairtrade Africa for the support, Chairperson of the Kasinthula Cane Growers Association Aubrey Meki Chilenje warned farmers against selling the items saying they are meant to support them in halting the spread of covid 19.
"This is our opportunity to reduce the spread of the corona virus. We hope farmers will take our advice to use the sanitary items in their homes," said Chilenje.
Commenting during an inception meeting at Kasinthula, Traditional Authority Katunga and Chairperson of Chikwawa District Council, Gelard Bede, thanked the donors and Kasinthula for improving the welfare of the farmers especially the food distribution during this COVID 19 period.
Some of the noted people that attended the meeting were Director of Health and Social services, Dr Stalin Zinkanda, and District Medical Officer, Dr Wamaka Musopole.