Minister of Agriculture Mtolo Phiri has clarified that a voter’s card is not a requirement for one to qualify to benefit from the Farmer Input Support Programme.
And the Minister says a beneficiary farmer is not required to pay any other money apart from the K400 contribution for them to access farming inputs under FISP.
Delivering a Ministerial statement to parliament on the procurement of fertilizer this afternoon, Mr. Phiri said qualifications for one to be on the programme include being a member of a cooperative or farmer organization dully registered under the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises or the Registrar of Cooperatives.
Mr. Phiri said the beneficiary should be a registered farmer, should cultivate 5 hectares of land or less, should have the capacity to pay the K400 contribution to the government, and should be a Zambian carrying a Green NRC with an active phone number.
Meanwhile, Mr. Phiri said the government has saved over 153 million Dollars from the procurement of over 300, 000 metric tons of fertilizer for the 2022/2023 farming season.
Delivering a ministerial statement on the procurement of fertilizer this afternoon, Mr. Phiri said 153, 665.1 metric tonnes are Urea while 153,665.10 metric tonnes are D-compound fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the National Union Of Small Scale Farmers In Zambia-NUSFAZ- has disclosed that over 100,000 farmers have been left out of the government sponsored Farmer Input Support Program-FISP- for the upcoming 2022/2023 farming season.
NUSFAZ Executive Director Ebony Lolozhi says his union has since begun engaging the government through the ministry of agriculture, to see a way forward regarding the affected small scale farmers.
And Mr. Lolozhi has warned that failure by government to begin to adequately finance climate change interventions through the national budget and create capacity for farmer’s resilience against climate change as well as fund research and extension services, disasters will continue to threaten Zambia’s food security.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri has disclosed that government has in an effort to avoid fertilizer supply companies from failing to deliver on their contracts, not awarded any company a tender to supply more than 100,000 metric tonnes of the commodity.
Mr. Phiri told Phoenix News that during the last farming season, some fertilizer suppliers failed to supply over 100 000 metric tonnes of fertilizer and that one of them still has a balance of about 17,000 metric tonnes of the input.