Over 5,000 farmers in Kaoma district have failed to raise and pay the K400 contribution to benefit from the Farmer Inputs Support Program (FISP)
According to various experts’ opinion, agriculture is an economic model for Zambia’s growth hence the need to encourage rural sector development that employs 60 per cent of the country’s population.
It is also vital for Zambian economy to find agro products to get a long comparative advantage, for instance, animal proteins production from soya beans and maize, with its production costs started to decline.
October last year the World Bank advised Zambian government to consider putting limits on the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) for three years to allow farmers a way out of the system. Zambia is said to have spent a lot on the FISP but farmers do not yield results.
This year the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has not paid farmers their dues for maize supplied to the agency. Consequently, about 5,000 farmers in Kaoma district have failed to raise and pay the K400 contribution to benefit from the Farmer Inputs Support Program (FISP).
In an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) Kaoma District Commissioner, Kennedy Mubanga commented on the issue in the agricultural sector. The District Commissioner stated that out of 9,860 farmers on FISP only 4000 managed to pay the K400 required fee to benefit from FISP. Mr Mubanga added that he personally knows of a large number of farmers who could not make contributions as they lacked the resources.
He assured farmers that government would soon provide them with financial assistance and they should not worry. District Commissioner Kennedy Mubanga added that the other day Minister of Agriculture Micheal Katambo told him the government had released K30 million to pay farmer’s dues, adding that Kaoma District would be a priority.