Government has clarified that it has not removed the subsidy on fertilizer but merely reduced it by KR50 so that farmers could now be paying half the price of the commodity.
Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mwansa Kapeya said government will now be paying KR100 per 50 kilogramme bag of fertilizer instead of KR150 for a bag of costing KR200.
Mr. Kapeya said government has only removed subsidies on maize and fuel so that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) can be self-reliant while consumers of fuel, who he said are mostly the rich, could buy the commodity at the original price.
Mr. Kapeya, who is also Mpika Central Member of Parliament, said government would want to use the money that will accrue from subsidies to develop the country especially in rural areas.
He said this when he addressed Mpika Central Ward Councilors at the constituency office today.
He said the country has been on an economic standstill for the past 20 years of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) regime.
Mr. Kapeya said it was for this reason that the Patriotic Front (PF) government has resorted to take resources to develop neglected areas.
He disclosed that government intends to build more health centres, schools and roads in rural areas as a way of benefiting people who did not benefit from subsidies.
The Deputy Minister stressed that due to lack of health services in some parts of his constituency such as Nalwaya, which is 170 kilometer away from Mpika town, people walk long distances to access health services.
He said government would correct the prevailing situation by directing money meant for subsidies to developmental projects.
The meeting was attended by all the six ward councilors of Mpika central constituency.
The six wards are Mukungule, Lubambala, Musakanya, Chishibesonde, Nachikufu and Lwitikila.
He has been in Luapula, Northern and now Muchinga province on familiarization tour of media institutions and to sensitize Heads of Government Departments and civic leaders on the issue of subsidies.