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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Farmers pessimistic, but Zambian government wants smooth planting season

The Zambian government is going all out to ensure a smooth 2017/’18 planting season, despite many farmers getting despondent about delayed farming inputs. Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya at the weekend said government released K1 billion of K1.7 billion to activate electronic voucher (e-voucher) cards for the Farmer Input Support Programme…

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Zambian smallholder farmers face another season of delayed inputs

Zambian smallholder farmers, long plagued by delays in accessing farming inputs, are unlikely to see any change this planting season, an investigation by Africanfarming.com has revealed. According to the investigation, the roll-out of the revamped and complete electronic (e-voucher) system was beset by a myriad of problems, including lack of…

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“Deliver farmer inputs on time” – Lungu orders

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…

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Zambia: FISP distribution starts this week

Zambian Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya says the distribution of farmer inputs for the 2017/2018 farming season starts on October 15. The Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is migrating to a complete electronic voucher (e-voucher) payment system. Government will spend K1.8 billion to support one million smallholder farmers. “This year, we…

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New Future Farm project in Zambia to provide sustainable solutions to smallholder farmers, agro-dealers

A new project at the AGCO Future Farm in Zambia is going to assess the needs of smallholder farmers and agro-dealers to provide them profitable solutions. AGCO, a global provider of agricultural solutions to farmers, is leading an 18 month-long initiative for the Alliance for Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA),…

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Zambian wheat price goes up; bread to cost more

Wheat farmers in Zambia have hiked the price of wheat to US$420 from US$370, meaning the price of bread and other wheat products will soon increase as well. Zambia Wheat Growers Chairman Donald Burton said the hike was triggered by the 75% increase in electricity tariffs, as well as an…

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US$39 million FAO deal to support agro-output of rural Zambian farmers

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has signed a US$39 million deal with the Zambian government to implement a programme that will aim to help small-scale rural farmers increase production. This is as the African Consumer Union (ACU) called on government to create a more enabling…

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Reduction in FISP beneficiaries causes panic among farmers

The decision by the Zambian government to reduce the number of Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) beneficiaries from 1.6 million to 1 million has caused panic among farmers. Small-scale farmers are appealing to government to reconsider, saying the move will affect their livelihood. “Last year we had 16 000 beneficiaries,…

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Thousands cut from FISP before new farming season starts on September 1

The Zambian government has pruned 600 000 beneficiaries from its Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), while it announced the beginning of this years’ farming season as September 1. According to local media reports, Zambian Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya said the reduction is the result of effective targeting of intended beneficiaries…

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K2 billion e-voucher system to roll out – Zambian finance minister

Zambian Finance Minister Felix Mutati says government will spend K2 billion to implement a fully-fledged electronic voucher (e-voucher) system under the Farmer Support Input Programme (FISP) during this year’s farming season. The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) meanwhile welcomed the full implementation of the e-voucher system. The minister says migration…

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Distribution of FISP inputs to start in June – Government

The distribution of inputs under government’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for this year’s planting season will start in June. The timing coincides with the start of crop marketing for the 2017/2018 season. Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa said the procurement process for the inputs has already started.…

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More labour intensive industries moving up into Africa

The high cost of electricity, labour legislation and land reform in South Africa mean labour intensive agricultural industries are set to move to African countries with more favourable conditions. “There are certain industries that are slowly moving past South African borders, like the banana industries that moved to Mozambique,” said…

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Zambia runs out of urea fertiliser

Zambia has run out of urea fertiliser, sparking concerns of a rise in the price of the commodity. “The demand for urea, which is used as a top dressing fertiliser, has grown, thereby creating a shortage,” agricultural minister Dora Siliya told parliament. Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa urged private agro…

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Another K200million available for FISP

Government has released a further K200million for the 2016/2017 Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). According to finance minister Felix Mutati, this brings to K800 million the total amount released to fund this season’s FISP. “The release of the money will keep on track government’s economic diversification through agriculture development,” Mutati…

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8 arrested, fertiliser seized in police crackdown

Eight people have been arrested and more than 500 bags of fertiliser seized by police in a crackdown of racketeering schemes connected to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). The raids were done in separate locations in Muchinga and Copperbelt province. Police in Mpongwe in Copperbelt on Saturday arrested five…

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Machinery to improve production for small-scale crop farmers

Michris Janse van Rensburg has used his mechanical genius to take small-scale farming into a more productive space. Michris is a master of the hand-held implement which can do more and help the farmer ease up on his manual effort. Suddenly – so much more seems possible. Michris Janse van…

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Government, ZNFU warn FISP embezzlers

Government has confirmed officials were involved in unlawfully selling inputs and embezzling cash under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). In a related development the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has threatened to ban agro dealers who were inflating prices, from participating in the FISP e-voucher system in future. “We…

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Dora Siliya, Zambia's Minister of Agriculture.

Mealie-meal prices expected to fall as maize deal is finalised

Mealie-meal prices are expected to drop by up to K15 per 25kg bag in the coming week. This after the conclusion of a government brokered maize deal with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) and the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ). Under the new deal…

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“Civil servants abusing FISP” – NGO

An agriculture NGO claims extension officers in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are abusing the system. The claims by the Zambia Agriculture Rural Development Initiative (ZARDI) came amid mounting pressure to eradicate problems in FISP’s management. President Edgar Lungu said he would soon constitute a team of experts to…

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