The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) says it is deeply concerned with reports from farmers in various parts of the country over the late distribution of farmers input support programme (FISP).
ZNFU President Evelyn Nguleka in a statement released to Q fm says the Union has received reports from stressed farmers in various parts of the country such as Copperbelt, Central, Eastern and Southern provinces indicating that D-Compound fertilizer in some instances has not been distributed and that Urea Fertilizer is not available either.
Dr. Nguleka says FISP is the main government programme that small scale farmers, who are the main producers of maize, depend upon thus It is worrying that the events of the 2012/2013 farming season are re-occurring despite Government assurance through the serving Minister that inputs would be delivered in a timely manner.
She has advised government rise to the occasion and address all the delaying factors with the urgency deserved to avert a food calamity emerging in the nation stating that the haphazard distribution of inputs that the country is experiencing if not properly handled could turn out to be a national financial burden as the 2014 maize harvest could nose dive to record low levels in recent times which will jeopardize and threaten the entire national food security situation.
Dr. Nguleka adds Zambians must take cognizant of the fact that a number of countries in the region are emerging from maize production deficits with very lean stocks available in the region adding that locally everyone is aware that government has authorized the offloading of existing FRA maize stocks to stabilize food prices, therefore come mid-year 2014 the country’s strategic food reserves will be entirely dependent on the trickling in of the new maize crop to be harvested this year.