The Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare has commenced the distribution of farming inputs to 700 vulnerable but viable farmers under the wetland component of the Food security Pack (FSP) in Monze district.
Flagging off the exercise in Machiinga area, Monze District Commissioner, Mwanza Malambo says government is committed to end poverty among vulnerable households through continued efforts of empowering them with farming inputs.
Mr Malambo said the empowerment of vulnerable households with inputs will reduce poverty, increase household food security and enhance income generation among poor and vulnerable farmers in the district.
“Today, I am very pleased to flag off the distribution of farming inputs to 700 vulnerable but viable farmers because this is part of many programmes the new dawn government is implementing to reduce poverty, increase household food security, and improve income among farmers through sale of their produce,” said Mr Malambo.
He urged vulnerable but viable farmers to fully embrace such interventions by government if poverty is to be addressed.
And Mr Malambo has disclosed that government has already delivered 195 metric tonnes of basal fertiliser under the Framer Input Support Programme (FISP) in readiness for the 2023/2024 farming season.
Acting Community Development officer, Trustina Manda says the wetland component of the FSP promotes the cultivation of crops during the dry season.
Ms Manda said the beneficiaries of the programme include people with disabilities, female headed households and the unemployed youths.
She explained that the wetland component was a special grant with beneficiaries expected to pay back K300 adding that the money was for more projects to benefit the farmers.
“We received a total of 1,400 by 50 kilogram bags of fertiliser and 700 by 5 kilogram bags of white maize for distribution in the entire district under the wetlands component. Each beneficiary farmer will receive a 1 by 50 kilogram bags of urea, 1 by 50 kilogram bag of basal and a 1 by 5 kilograms bag of white maize for them to grow using irrigation, to meet our objective of enhancing food production,” she said.
She explained that so far since the launch of the wetland component in 2000, there has been a noticeable reduction in poverty among the beneficiary farmers.
One of the beneficiary farmers, Cleopatra Kasamu thanked government for the programme which has drastically improved her welfare and that of her household.
She, however, requested the government to sustain the programme and cater for more vulnerable but viable farmers who are excluded on the FISP.
The wetlands component of the FSP was reintroduced by the new administration in 2023 after it was halted for close to 7 years and aims at providing inputs to vulnerable but viable farmers to enable them cultivate crops even throughout the year.