Farmers that have not been honouring their loan obligation risk being removed from the NWK Agri-Services loan scheme register after the company gave out about K55 million.
NWK Agri-Services chief agricultural services officer Kelvin Hambwezya said currently, the company is supporting over 100 farmers in seven districts.
Mr Hambwezya said in an interview on recently that the company during the 2015/16 farming season, gave out about K15 million worth of equipment and K40 million worth of inputs to farmers from Mumbwa, Choma, Monze, Kembe, Katete, Petauke and Chipata districts.
He said out of all the money the firm gave out, it has only recovered about 50 percent.
“It is critical for farmers to be honest and improve the culture of paying back loans if support is to continue. Some farmers are dishonest and are not willing to meet their obligation. If we stop supporting farmers, this has the potential to negatively affect farmers productivity and their growth,” he said.
Mr Hambwezya said the firm plans to continue with the scheme in the 2016/17 farming season but only with farmers who will repay as a measure to deal with those who are dishonest.
He, however, said currently, the company is reviewing the performance of the scheme and the outcome will determine the next move.
He said the company embarked on the scheme to help farmers in acquiring agro-equipment to move away from the traditional farming.
Mr Hambwezya called on farmers to develop a culture of repaying loans if, they are to receive more support from various organisations to boost productivity.
“Although some farmers cited bad weather in the 2015/16 season as one of the reasons for not paying back the loan, the company will only continue the initiative with farmers who will repay the loan but those who will fall will be removed,” he said.
In 2014, NWK, which is formerly Dunavant Zambia Limited, launched a mechanisation programme to help farmers acquire equipment with 94 tractors and assorted accessories being handed over to beneficiaries in Central, Eastern and Southern Provinces