By LINDA SOKO TEMBO
FIFTEEN farmers in Sinda have been swindled out of their fertilizer and the commodity was reportedly redeemed by unscrupulous people.
Sinda district agriculture coordinator (DACO) Henry Mkulumoya said it was unfortunate that the farmers had lost their fertilisers in suspicious circumstances.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Mkulumoya advised farmers who were in the habit of exposing their pin codes to stop as some people with bad intentions would take advantage of the situation.
“It is unfortunate that some farmers were duped of their fertilizer. When farmers pay for their inputs the Ministry of Agriculture and Smart Zambia have put in place codes that go direct to the farmers and no one has access to it part from themselves.
“My suspicion is that farmers are exposing their codes carelessly at their cooperatives in such a way that maybe cooperatives owners were getting hold of the codes and then dubiously redeemed the farming inputs behind their backs,” he said.
Mr Mkulumoya advised the farmers to avoid exposing their codes to anyone not even the leaders in their cooperatives.
He said they would do everything possible to ensure that they sensitised the farmers in the district on the importance of protecting their secret codes to prevent thieves from redeeming their inputs.
Mr Mkulumoya advised farmers to always have valid phone numbers and national registration card to redeem their inputs whenever they went to redeem their inputs.
He said despite what happened to the 15 farmers, the redeeming exercise was going on well in Sinda district and that the exercise was at 93 percent.