Govt increases number of FISP beneficiaries in Pemba

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—Government has increased the number of Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) beneficiaries in Southern Province by 10,000 and included groundnuts seed in this year’s agro season.

And 173,893 small scale farmers are expected to benefit from FISP of which 155,056 are for maize seed, 6,150 for sorghum and 12,680 for groundnuts.

Provincial Agricultural Coordinator (PACO) Adreen Nansungwe,   disclosed the development in his speech read on his behalf by the District Marketing and Development Officer, Chisenga Kunda, during the commemoration of the International Cooperatives Day at Pemba grounds whose theme was “cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all.”

Dr Nansungwe further disclosed that her office had since received 1,730 metric tonnes of basal and top dressing fertilizers for distribution to FSIP beneficiaries though she noted that the storage facilities were of a great challenge.

The PACO urged cooperatives and private businesses to invest in storage facilities to make business.

Dr Nansungwe said her ministry welcomes and supports linkages aimed at promoting and rendering support to cooperative development so that the cooperative business could be sustained and help reduce poverty at both individual and household levels.

She stated that cooperatives had been used as the entry point to beneficiaries of some projects that government and stakeholders were implementing such as conservation agriculture, agribusiness and marketing, crop and livestock production.

And speaking at the same function, Pemba District Cooperative marketing union chairperson, Gerod Hamuchenje, thanked government for the support it has continued to render to cooperatives, particularly in the newly created district of Pemba.

Mr Hamuchenje said his cooperative unit will work with government to see it grow and create much needed job opportunities for the residents.

“Sir, cooperatives have the potential to create employment to the many unemployed youths hence help supplement government’s efforts on employment creation,” he said.

He appealed to government to address the challenges they were facing in acquiring a piece of land on which to build infrastructure like storage sheds and offices.