-Mpika civil servants, farmers support subsidies

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Civil servants and farmers in Mpika
district have welcomed the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize by
the government.

The group says this will allow the government to divert the funds meant for subsidies to fund developmental

projects especially in rural areas.

This came to light when Mpika district government heads of departments and farmers attending the  farmer

organization support programme workshop in Mpika today pledged to help government disseminate the message on

subsidies to people in their respective localities who

are not aware of the development.

Addressing the gathering deputy minister of information and
broadcasting services Mwansa Kapeya said government is determined to
better the lives of Zambians by ensuring that the national resources benefit everyone irrespective of status.

Mr. Kapeya explained that the Patriotic Front government has discovered
that products that were subsidized were only benefiting the already
rich and not the poor as intended for .

He said his government has removed the subsidies so that it could use the
money on important programmes such as the construction of roads,
schools and health centres in remote areas where such services were

The deputy minister further disclosed that government has continued
subsidising maize seed to small scale farmers.

And Community Development officer for Chilonga sub centre Emmanuel
Chilufya commended government for considering uplifting the lives of
the poor Zambians in remote areas by directing resources from
subsidies to development projects.

Mr. Chilufya said information concerning the removal of subsidies must be spread to

the most vulnerable people in remote areas through chiefs,
agricultural committees and leaders at the local level.

He observed that lay people do not understand what it entails by
removing subsidies hence the need for heads of departments and farmer
co-operatives to explain the matter to people in villages.

The Farmer Organization Support Programme workshop has been convened
to discuss the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food
Reserve Agency marketing programme.

The workshop has attracted Heads of Department from government
departments, parastatals, individual farmers and representatives
of co-operatives from the district.