The government has called on beneficiaries of the food security pack (FSP) in Mbala district who have been on the programme for two years to prepare to be weaned off.
Mbala District Commissioner, Annie Paul, says FSP is an initiative meant to empower vulnerable but viable farmers who are expected to stand on their own after some time.
Mrs. Paul says this is contrary to what is happening where beneficiaries always depend on the programme even when they can afford to buy inputs on their own.
She said this when she visited beneficiaries of the FSP programme in Chilipula Community Welfare Assistant Committee (CWAC) in Mbala.
She noted that Zambians should start taking farming as a business so that they stop depending on the food security pack programme.
“We came to inform you that if you have benefited from the programme for about two years, you will be weaned. It does not matter whether you are a chairperson, vice or cecretary, we should not hold on to the programme,” she said.
Mrs Paul visited Chilipula Community Welfare Assistant Committee (CWAC) to also check on the maize, beans and onion fields for food security pack beneficiaries in the district.
Meanwhile, Acting Mbala District Administrative Officer, Eugenia Sikazwe, reiterated the need for FSP beneficiaries to graduate from the programme.
Ms Sikazwe said it was unfortunate that many FSP beneficiaries want remain on the programme and continue enjoying agricultural incentives from government.
“It is not good to see that after growing and harvesting so many quantities of onions, a farmer goes back to zero upon realising profits. We need to be more serious,” she said.
And Ireen Chisesa, a beneficiary, has praised government for supporting many farmers with agricultural inputs under the programme.
Ms Chisesa explained that she has experience a great change in her life following government support.
“I want to thank the government for helping me and others with fertiliser and seed. This has greatly improved my way of life, children are able to go to school and access all basic needs,” she said.