Zambia’s smallholder farmers and the complexities of government support

The Zambian agricultural sector rests on the shoulders of an estimated 1.6 million smallholder farmers. It is envisaged that graduating them into commercial farming will create the much-needed impetus to dent high levels of poverty and unemployment. Nearly 3 decades after the initiation of agricultural market reforms in sub-Saharan Africa,…

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Zambian government blames banks for delayed distribution of farm inputs

The delay in distribution of farm inputs is a result of banks failing to distribute electronic voucher (e-voucher) cards to farmers, say Zambian Finance Minister Felix Mutati and his Agriculture counterpart Dora Siliya. The two ministers decried the performance of the last-mile enablers in the distribution of farmer inputs when…

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Zambian small-scale farmers slam “exploitative” agro dealers

The National Union of Small-scale Farmers of Zambia (NUSFAZ) says its members are being charged K650, instead of K400, by agro dealers to access inputs under the government-funded Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that civil servants, who are ineligible to access FISP, are among beneficiaries. “This…

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Zambian president angry over slow farmer input distribution

Zambian President Edgar Lungu, incensed with the slow pace of farmer input delivery, has ordered the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture to immediately double efforts. This, as the latest evidence shows less than 4 000 of the 1 million smallholder farmer beneficiaries have already paid K400, but are yet to…

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