President Edgar Lungu has directed officials to deliver farmer inputs for the 2017/’18 season on time.
“There is a heavy price to pay for those who frustrate this exercise,” Lungu said.
Lungu decided to personally intervene after widespread complaints about last season’s delayed distribution of farming inputs.
Distribution of inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is scheduled to start on Saturday. This year, the programme migrates to a complete electronic voucher (e-voucher) payment system to support 1 million smallholder farmers. Government will spend K1.8 billion to finance the project.
Government also increased the number of crops to be covered under FISP to accelerate diversification. Tomatoes, cassava, cashew nuts and groundnuts are among the products now included. Previously, the programme largely covered maize.
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