President Edgar Lungu has warned government officials to iron out bottlenecks in the distribution of farming inputs.
Speaking in Eastern Province, where he checked on the progress of the delivery of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) after good rains, Lungu expressed disappointment with the late rollout of services.
“I expect the people spearheading the FISP distribution to respond with agility when they see challenges,” he said.
President Lungu earlier this month also warned of stern action against civil servants who fail to deliver.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni, who met the president during his tour of the province, said most farmers in the region had not yet received fertilizer under FISP.
The problem, however, is nationwide. Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya last week attributed the situation to Treasury having been overwhelmed by the elections in August last year. She also said the subsequent presidential petition resulted in key government vacancies being filled late.
Compounding the situation were hitches in activating the e-voucher system, specifically introduced to ease the process.
But President Lungu assured farmers in Eastern Province of noticeable improvement after his tour.
“I came to inspect what was happening in the agriculture sector here and this will assist us to find solutions to the challenges facing our farmers.”