-Subsidies not a human rights issue-Nzamane

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Subsidies not a human rights issue—Nzamane  

Chipata, May 30, 2013, ZANIS…Senior Chief Nzamane of the Ngoni speaking people of Chipata district has advised Zambians not to take the removal of fuel and maize subsidies as a human rights issue.

Chief Nzamane says despite the decision by government to remove subsidies on the two important sectors of the economy there is need for Zambians to accept the decisions and adopt to the changes.

The traditional leader told ZANIS in an interview in Chipata today that the debate on subsidies should be handled with care by both government and the citizens.

He explained that government will continue taking bold steps aimed at saving national resources in order to have a stable economy.

Senior Chief Nzamane however noted that the decision by government was not done at a right time especially that the agriculture sector is likely to be affected by the reduction in the crop harvest.

He said government would have consulted relevant authorities for them to carryout sensitizations for people to fully understand the rationale behind the decision to remove the subsidies before implementing it.

He cited the subsidy on maize that it was a well known fact when the programme of Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) that it was going to end as it was meant to help vulnerable farmers with start up packs just for a period of time.

Senior Chief Nzamane stated that it was for this reason that people needed to be reminded that the programme was meant for farmers to graduate and stand on their own.

He added that the abrupt action will affect the small scale farmers who did not prepare for the change.

Meanwhile, the traditional leader has cautioned his subjects against selling all their produce without storing some for consumption.

He noted that the subjects should instead adopt the new metal silo technology to enhance the storage of crops.

He explained that many farmers in his chiefdom were forced to sell all their produce due to lack of proper storage facilities.

Senior Chief Nzamane added that this was why the new metal silo project introduced by the Effective Grain Storage for Better Livelihoods of African Farmers would go a long way in addressing the post harvest losses being experienced.