Government says the 2, 000 refugees who are engaged in farming in the three refugee settlements will benefit from the US$100,000 donation which the African Union recently made to Zambia. Commissioner for Refugees Abdon Mawere said refugee farmers in Mantapala in Luapula, Meheba in Northwestern and Mayukwayukwa in Western Provinces will be given inputs so that they can enhance their farming activities.
Mr Mawere said about 700 farmers in each refugee settlement will benefit from the Farmer Input Support Program for refugee supported by the AU funds.
He said government is impressed with the refugees who have taken it upon themselves to be self-reliant by engaging in farming.
He said Congolese refugees in Mantapala in Nchelenge District participated in the 2018/2019 farming season but did not produce much due to lack of inputs and late planting which was caused by late apportioning of farm plots.
He that’s all the partners who have continued to support refugees in settlement to ensure that they become self-sustainable.
The African Union has contributed a sum of $100,000.00 to Zambia’s work regarding the hosting of refugees.
The donation follows the recommendations made by the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) Sub-Committee that visited Zambia to undertake the humanitarian assessment on Zambia hosting refugees.
The funds were sent directly to the Ministry of Agriculture to go under the FISP program for refugees to help make refugees self-sufficient.
About 280 refugee households in Mantapala Refugee Settlement cultivated maize while 50 and 40 households cultivated beans and groundnuts respectively in the 2018/2019 farming season.
The Commissioner for Refugees is hopeful that more donors will come forth to support refugees with farming inputs.