Govt. Apologises for late FISP distribution
Government has apologized to farmers in Northern Province for this season’s disastrous fertilizer distribution programme.
Northern Province minister Col. Gerry Chanda says this year’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) has been a disaster
“ This year’s FISP programme has been a disaster and an embarrassment to government because we made a mistake by picking Nyiombo Investment to carry out the fertilizer distribution programme, “ he sad.
Farmers in the province, like the rest of the country, have cried foul over the late distribution of farming inputs this farming season.
Some farmers have complained that the delay had destroyed their crop as some of them were receiving D-compound fertilizers when there maize was almost tussling.
But the minister has explained that the late distribution of fertilizer was not the government’s intention.
He said government was equally disappointed by the performance of Nyiombo, adding that farmers must expect a remarkable improvement next farming season as the exercise will be handled differently.
Col.Chanda said during the few weeks that he had been in office he had discovered that Northern Province was a farming province with beautiful land that had the potential to feed the entire Southern African region.
He stated that government was planning on employing a deliberate policy that will enable farmers produce a bumper harvest to flood the market and leave enough for export.
‘’The market in the Great Lakes Region is open. Let us diversify from fish and go into farming and produce enough……even the smuggling of mealie-meal we are complaining about will be no more because we are going to grow enough for export,’’ he told the businessmen.
Col. Chanda said there was no need for the country to be poor when there was a lot of land around.
And addressing concerns of intermittent power supply and load shedding by ZESCO, Col. Chanda noted that government had engaged the Chinese to construct the Lunzuwa Hydro-power station in Mpulungu with capacity to produce over 14 megawatts.
He said government was mindful of the fact that no meaningful development can take place in the absence of steady power supply.
‘’When completed this plant will be critical for businesses to flourish as there will be no load shedding or unnecessary power outages,’’ Col. Chanda said.
He also said government had paid special attention to the development and upgrading of Mpulungu Harbour by expanding the port and putting up of new and modern infrastructure.
‘’The most important thing we need to do at the moment as government is to create an enabling environment where every business will flourish, ‘’ Col. Chanda said.
On the other hand, a local businessman Michael Sikazwe appealed to government to put up modern infrastructure in Mpulungu and market its tourism potential within and outside the country.
‘’The only difference between Mpulungu and Livingstone is in infrastructure……otherwise they have Victoria falls we also have Lake Tanganyika, only this far end has been neglected,’’ Sikazwe said.
He said there was also need for a serious investor in Fish and Mango processing because the two commodities were abundant in the area and usually went to waste.