Small Scale Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) says irrigation permits will negatively affect crop production for small scale farmers in the country.
SAFADA Executive Director, Boyd Moobwe said the agency analyzed the impact of the water permits immediately it was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and saw that it is not suitable for the small scale farmers.
“Farmers might not be able to pay for the permit due to the current economic challenges, this move might affect the country’s crop production,” Mr Moobwe said.
However, he said that even though the agency understands that the move was made by government to put in place measures to control the usage of water due to the devastating effects of climate change that the country is experiencing, there is a need for government to sit with the agency and find a suitable solution.
“We are most likely to face droughts in the near future which will negatively affect the level of ground water but this is not the suitable way to prepare for the droughts,” the Executive Director said.
Mr. Moobwe called on the government to urgently respond to the concerns of the agency and find a solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, Richard Sikazwe a small scale farmer has expressed concern over the announced payment of water permits citing that it will negatively affect his business.
“It has not been easy for us, we are not making any profits from our products and now we are being requested to pay for water permits,” Mr Sikazwe complained.
He said small scale farmers are currently facing a lot of challenges such as climate change and delay in the distribution of farming inputs and that resolution by government will worsen their situation.
Mr Sikazwe has appealed to the government to carefully look at the matter because small scale farmers will not afford to pay for the water permits