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January 03, 2008

Zambian suppliers of subsidised inputs halt supplies over payment arrears

Zambia's government has disclosed that it owes suppliers of farming inputs about K2 billion ($535,000) in the previous contracts.

Secretary to the Treasury Evans Chibiliti said that government has since started to address the concerns of the suppliers. He expressed fear that time had run out for the supply of fertilisers to the farmers during the current rain season.

Omnia Small-Scale Limited and Nyiombo Investments Limited, the companies government has contracted to supply farming inputs, had last month suspended the distribution of fertiliser to farmers due to outstanding payments.

Omnia said the decision was arrived at to harmonise outstanding contractual obligations which are a standard requirement between and commercial supplier and buyer of goods.

Nyiombo had also been contracted to distribute about 17 694 metric tonnes of urea fertilizer to framers who are the beneficiaries under the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) of which 15, 546 has been distributed. Company Director Dr. Maurice Yangulo a week ago had stated that the company had fulfilled its obligations in delivering the farming inputs.

By press time, efforts to get a comment from the company director on whether the company has resumed the distribution of fertiliser failed.

Lusaka Times

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