Cooperative societies have bemoaned the effects of the 25 percent devaluation of the Kwacha on their operations.
They have cited the Agriculture Commercialisation (Agcom) Project as one of the initiatives that have borne the brunt of the decision to devalue the local currency.
Cooperative society members bemoaned the situation when members of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture visited Thyolo Shire Highlands Poultry Cooperative and Bvumbwe Women’s Club in Thyolo District.
Chairperson for Shire Highlands Poultry Cooperative Martin Kavalo said following devaluation of the Kwacha, production costs rose by a quarter, such that they could not make the best of their investment.
“That is why we are appealing to those responsible for implementing the Agcom Project to increase the amount of funds allocated to us,” Kavalo said.
Secretary for Titukulane Bvumbwe Women’s Club Catherine Chatama Kaliya concurred with Kavalo.
Chatama Kaliya said one of the project components that have suffered is pig production, such that they are unsure if they will break even.
Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Sameer Suleman hailed Agcom implementers for shoring up food and animal production in the country.
He further pledged to take farmers’ grievances to the authorities for timely intervention.
“We, as Parliament, want all those involved in Agcom implemetation to achieve desired results,” he said.
Trade Speacialist for Agcom Project Daniel Chilima said they have taken heed of farmers’ concerns and are considering providing additional funds to those affected by devaluation of the Kwacha and other economic factors.
“We have asked them to present progress reports to us so that we can see how best to intervene,” Chilima said.