Govt. to investigate in irregularities in FISP in Eastern Province.

Christine Daka, small farmer in Zambia

Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone has said that government will institute a taskforce committee to investigate irregularities in the distribution of farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

This follows numerous concerns raised by farmers in relation to fertilizer distribution for the 2013/14 faring season.

The Provincial Minister said it was unacceptable for some farmers to be given only one bag of fertilizer instead of the required pack of four bags and a 10 kg bag of seed.

Mr Sichone said those engaged in the distribution of the fertilizer were unfair to the farmers because they got the money from them to pay for the fertilizer only to be refunded back the money.

He stated that once the investigations are concluded, those found wanting would face the wrath of the Law to deter others from engaging in malpractices.

Mr. Sichone said government is aware of the challenges farmers were facing and that it will get to the bottom of the problem so that it does not re-occur.

He was speaking at an interactive developmental meeting held at Kwenje Rural Health Centre in Chief Nzamane’s area in Chipata yesterday.

Mr Sichone stated that information about mismanagement of FISP by field agriculture officers were rampant especially in rural areas saying the trend has to come to an end.

“I am assuring you now that government will ensure the culprits are brought to book and the process will be cleaned up as it is meant to improve lives for the less privileged in society,” he stressed.

And Headman Vuze, Isaac Ziwa, complained that cooperatives were being charged K50.00 for fuel by the Agricultural Block Supervisor, Charles Lwenje.

He further stated that the same bag that was given to the farmers was s also shared between two people.

He said the community has evidence to that effect and are willing to help those entrusted to do the investigations.