Small scale farmers urged to support subsidy removal
Choma, May 23, ZANIS –Southern province Minister Daniel Munkombwe has called upon small scale farmers in the province to fully support the removal of maize subsidies by government because the facility only benefited the rich at the expense of the poor.
Speaking in his office in Choma today, Mr Munkombwe said commercial farmers and other well to do people had also been benefiting from the government sponsored Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) which was supposed to target only vulnerable but viable peasant farmers.
He argued that government had been indirectly subsidizing the production costs of commercial farmers who reaped huge profits while the peasantry faced hurdles in accessing inputs under the FISP and continued to wallow in poverty.
Mr Munkombwe noted that FISP was grossly abused by commercial farmers who by design of the programme were not eligible to access heavily subsidized farming inputs under the programme but somehow managed to do so.
He said it is unfair for leaders of some opposition political parties to criticize government for correcting the situation by removing fuel and maize subsidies when they know very well that this measure is for the good of the country.
The minister said all well-meaning Zambians should support the PF government for taking bold steps in the removal of subsidies that threatened the country’s economic growth.
Mr Munkombwe said government will now be able to redirect the funds saved from the subsidies towards infrastructural development which will benefit the greater majority of the poor Zambians.