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Friday, 10 November 2017 10:08

Prudent use of loans crucial to development – Katende

Written by  Emily Kaliwo

A farmer business group harvesting groundnut - Pic sourced from internet

Chiradzulu, November 10, Mana: Chiradzulu District Agriculture Development Extension Methodologies Officer (EMO), Elluness Katende has described unity and prudence in the use of loans in farming groups as crucial to achieving meaningful and sustainable development.

She made the remarks on Thursday at Onga Village in the area of Sub – Traditional Authority Onga in Chiradzulu when five farmer business groups from Mombezi Extension Planning Area (EPA) received cheques amounting to K6, 845,500 for running their business groups.

Katende observed that the loans would only be meaningful if the respective farmer business groups ensured that unity of purpose prevailed among themselves in addition to investing the money into viable agricultural activities.

She assured her office would continue providing supportive supervision to the farmers in a bid to ensure consistency and sustainability of initiatives for the benefit of the farmers.

“Use the money for the intended purpose and not for enjoyment since the more you do well in this pilot phase, the more you increase opportunities for more support to effectively develop yourselves through farming,” said Katende.

She advised the farmer business groups to keep records of their activities, saying such information was vital in sustaining the groups and tracking expenditure in the spirit of transparency and accountability to ascertain whether there was progress or not.

She therefore urged farmers not to share the money individually, saying the goodness of cooperatives is that they are able to buy materials at a low price besides the supplier providing free transport for the commodities.

In his remarks, Chiradzulu District Agri-business Officer, Charles Nyirenda, urged farmers to consider investing the money in activities which would have long term benefits.
“When you are developing a business plan and implementing your action plan, you need to conduct community monitoring as well as develop sustainability strategies like village savings and loans, and a livestock pass – on programme,” advised Nyirenda.

Sub Chief Onga commended government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development for considering granting loans to people in his area, saying the loans would improve crop production and living standards of farmers in his area.

However, the traditional leader urged beneficiaries to adhere to objectives of the money from the grant, thus to develop their households through farming and re – investing their businesses for positive change of their lives.

The five farmer business groups that have benefited from the loan are Friends of Hope, Mlambe Cluster, Ulimi ndi Phindu, Malangalanga Mushroom Growers Enterprise and Umodzi Cluster under Sustainable Agricultural Production Programme which started in the district in 2012.


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