Govt. completes FISP distribution in Luwingu District

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Govt. completes FISP distribution in Luwingu District


Luwingu, 08th January 2014-ZANIS-  Government says the distribution of agricultural inputs in Luwingu district in the Northern Province has been completed.



And government says it  has started constructing a regional laboratory to help Northern province fight some of the deadly pest and diseases that have affected the farming community in the area.


Agriculture minister Robert Sichinga says the distribution of farm inputs in Luwingu district and it is only waiting for a bumper harvest this season.



The minister said this when he briefed Luwingu district commissioner Mambwe Katontoka in her office today.



Mr Sichinga explained that his tour was to study the prevailing situation regarding the distribution of fertilizer input support programme (FISP) to farmers in Luwingu. “We might be thinking that things are going on well when in fact not hence our coming to this land,” he said.



He said that government has already distributed 20160 out of 20400 bags of basal dressing fertilizer and 20400 bags top dressing fertilizer to the farmers in Luwingu district.



Mr Sichinga said the remaining 240 bags of basal dressing fertilizer will be made available to the farmers within the course of the week adding that farmers who have not received the commodity should not panic.



“We have the commodity in Kasama and any time transporters will ferry the commodity in Luwingu.



“  This is the working government and would want to ensure that farmers receive the commodity in time because the rainfall pattern in the province is good and Luwingu in particular,” he added.



Mr Sichinga said that his ministry is considering starting early delivery of 2014/2015 season in all the districts in the Northern Province because the area is receiving favourable rainfall.



Meanwhile the agriculture minister was disappointed to note that Luwingu district has been over supplied with top dressing fertilizer while in some parts of the country have not yet received the commodity.


He wondered why nitrogen chemicals of Zambia could over supply the commodity to Luwingu when Kasama district is in short supply of 27,070 bags of urea.



Mr Sichinga instructed Northern Province agricultural coordinator to quickly find means to transport the excess fertilizer to deficit districts within the province before farmers in these affected areas cry foul.



He argued that there was no reason why the transporter would ferry the commodity to Luwingu which has its allocation of 20400 bags of fertilizers.



The district has been supplied with the excess of 7000 bags of urea stationed at Luwingu secondary school recreation hall.


Mr Sichinga said the district received 100 per cent seed and has been distributed to the beneficiaries under farm inputs support programme in the district.


 “We hope that the district will produce enough maize for both home consumption and for sale to food reserve agency,” he said.


He said government has embarked on crop diversification to ensure that the product is balanced other than concentrating on maize alone.


Mr Sichinga said Luwingu like any other district in the province has suitable land for growing crops like groundnuts, rice and millet because of good rainfall pattern in the area.


He said Luwingu has several rivers and swamps if put to good use, the district can sustain itself well in terms of economic developments.


And government says it has started constructing a regional laboratory to help Northern province fight some of the deadly pest and diseases that have affected the farming community in the area.



Mr. Sichinga it was his ministry’s  vision to expand offices for Zambia agricultural research institutes to all provinces in the country.


The minister also inspected the farmers training centre in the district and said he was very disappointed at the pace the construction was going on in the area.



Mr Sichinga later demanded a comprehensive report on the status of the farmers training centre adding that the report should be in his office on Monday next week.


He said that late last year he was compelled to make a statement regarding the same farmers training centre, which he reported that the only remaining part was wiring to complete the project but when he physically checked on the building, Mr Sichinga was demoralized and disappointed because what he earlier on was contrary to the report before parliament.



Mr Sichinga demanded for a full report saying PF government will not tolerate laziness and half baked report. He said he wanted to know how much the contractor was paid for and the works which were done and the current situation.



Meanwhile Mr Sichinga toured maize shed and temporal fertilizer depot at the secondary school and farmers training centre under construction in the district.