The distribution of inputs under government’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) got off to a slow start, said the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU).
“It is causing anxiety among farmers. The reports we have from all our facilitators are that farmers have not yet started to get their inputs,” said Calvin Kaleyi, ZNFU Media and Public Relations Manager.
According to Kaleyi, ZNFU has been inundated with inquiries about inputs, as farmers are concerned about possible of early rains.
“As we have previously been engaged by government to help with the distribution of inputs, we have received numerous queries from farmers who have already paid their K400 contribution, but their cards are not activated,” he said. Government hasn’t commented yet.
Last week, Zambian Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya said the distribution of farmer inputs for the 2017/’18 farming season will start on October 15.
This year, the distribution migrates to a complete electronic voucher (e-voucher) payment system. Government will spend K1.8 billion to support 1 million smallholder farmers.
Last year, the distribution was characterised by delays and rampant malpractice. This prompted President Edgar Lungu to warn of stern action against officials who delay the exercise.
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