The Patriotic Front has indeed put more money in people’s pockets as can be seen from the value of properties in Zambia going up as a result of tarred roads, says Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale.
And Hamukale has lamented that both agriculture and livestock production in Namwala District has been affected because senior politicians are grabbing land from the poor.
Debating President Lungu’s address to Parliament, Wednesday, Hamukale explained the PF’s concept of ‘more money in your pocket’, arguing that because government had put up tarred roads, value on properties had increased.
“Allow me to expound a little on the ‘more money in your pocket’ concept, which has been misunderstood in this country. Indeed, the Patriotic Front government has put more money in the people’s pockets. First of all, wherever you put tarred roads, the value of land along those roads and properties, including houses, the value has gone up. Land [was] going say, for a K1,000 per acre and now is K4,000 per acre, so that’s a gain of K3,000 per acre. If you talk of rentals, a house could have been fetching say, K2,000 when the road was gravel, when you put tarmac the rentals increase, sometimes threefold. That is more money in the pocket,” Hamukale claimed.
“If you talk of motor vehicles, all of us know that vehicles depreciate. If they are driven on good surfaces, good tarred roads; the effect is that you spend less on maintenance. That saving on maintenance is money in your pocket. If you talk of commercial activities; goods and services now are being delivered at a faster rate. So, this is a concept of more money in your pocket, which everyone should digest and see sense.”
And Hamukale announced that 160,000 farmers on the FISP programme were expected to be brought on board for the 2018/2019 farming season in Southern Province.
“On the Farmer Input Support Programme, in keeping with the President’s line of thought on this subject, we held workshops with the banks, agro-dealers and other stakeholders, to emphasize the need to strengthen partnerships with the private sector over the distribution of agro-inputs. 160,000 farmers on the FISP programme are expected to be brought on board for the 2018/2019 farming season in Southern Province. The e-voucher system has proved to be efficient, transparent and accountable in the manner it is administered,” Hamukale argued.
But he lamented that agriculture and livestock production in Namwala District had been affected because senior politicians were grabbing land from the poor.
“But, unfortunately, Mr Speaker, both agriculture and livestock production in Namwala District is being affected because land is being grabbed from the poor! We have senior politicians in our land who are taking away land that is ancestral in nature from the poor. And I hope they are listening,” he said.
Hamukale said the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was expected to procure 43,000 metric tonnes of maize from Southern Province this year.
He added that there was more maize for the private sector to buy with the projection of over 300,000 metric tonnes of maize harvested in the province this year.
“The crop marketing season opened on a good note this year with the maize [purchase] price at K70 for 50 Kg bag. You will be happy to note that both the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the private buyers have been actively buying maize from farmers across the province this year. FRA is expected to procure 43,000 metric tonnes of maize from Southern Province this year. We are hopeful that with the projection of over 300,000 metric tonnes of maize harvested this year in the province, there is a lot more for the private sector to buy. On this account, we are urging farmers in the region to partner with the private sector on value-addition projects even as a way of ensuring that no stock goes to waste,” appealed Hamukale.