Vice President Inonge Wina has expressed disappointment at the levels of production in the agriculture sector in Mitete District in Western Province.
Mrs. Wina observed that Mitete District is one of the areas that receive enough farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) but that government through Farmer Reserve Agency (FRA) does not access any maize from the place.
Speaking when she met with the District Administration at Muyondoti Secondary School in Mitete District of Western Province, Mrs. Wina implored the relevant authorities in the area to effectively coordinate farming activities.
She observed that even after discovering that the area had already received farming inputs, preparations for farming activities have not yet started which she wondered whether the District Agriculture Extension Officers were doing their job.
Mrs. Wina pointed out that government has placed District Commissioner in districts, so that they can run programmes in their areas.
“We expect local solutions across districts to be initiated by district administrations, because Lusaka is very far from here hence we rely on DC’s to preside on districts who are in charge of expanding production.
“We want to see local farmers engaged in crop diversification so that they can always have enough for consumption. DMMU will not always have resources to food here, that is why government implements various programmes for self-sustenance among rural people,” the Vice President indicated.
She implored the District Administration to find lasting solutions that will ensure that farmers are able to transport their yields and sell to FRA in order for them to increase their finances.
Meanwhile, Mitete District Commissioner Nayunda Mukwamataba disclosed that the district has already received farming inputs for the 2020/2021 farming season under FISP.
Mr. Mukwamataba noted that the district has 400 farmer beneficiaries under FISP of which 270 have already deposited part of their contributions.
He however indicated that farmers are not able to sell to FRA because of lack of reliable transportation and storage facilities in the district hence most of the yields are consumed at household level.
“Your Honour, as of September 7th, 2020, I can reliably inform you that Mitete District has already received farming inputs for the next farming season.
“The district has received 60 metric tonnes of urea, 70 metric tonnes of D-Compound, and 250 by 10 kg bags maize seed.
“From this, we are expecting a balance of 150 by 20 kg bags of maize seed and 200 by 20 kg bags of groundnuts,” Mr. Mukwamataba disclosed.
The DC added that the district has not been left out from other government programmes such as the social cash transfer and the Food Security Pack among others.
And in the health sector, he noted that three health posts out or of six allocated to the district have been constructed.
And later when the Vice President met with traditional leaders in the area, Chief Akabati of Lucanana Nyala area thanked government for not leaving out the district in its developmental agenda.
Chief Akabati however outlined some challenges which included the need for a boarding school in the area so that pupils from far areas can stay in school even on a weekly basis.
The traditional leader explain the performance for many learner’s is very low because they have to cover long distances to get to school which disturbs their concentration because they are usually tired.
He added that Muyondoti Primary School needs electrification so that pupils can also take other classes such as ICT.
“Madam Vice President, we thank you for visiting Mitete District especially Muyondoti area. We are happy to mention that government has included us in its developmental plans and the evidence is visible. Our children cover long distances just to attend school, hence we are requesting that our school can be turned into a boarding school. Pupils can be attending weekly boarding so that they have time to learn properly. The school also lacks a laboratory and has no electricity, thereby denying them the chance to take certain subjects that require electricity,” Chief Akabati stated.
He also bemoaned the lack of communication between civic leaders and traditional rulers, saying that it’s hard for government to know the challenges on the ground.