Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says the government has finished distributing both fertilizer and seed in Luapula Province for the 2019/2020 farming season.
And Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa says not every farmer is entitled to the government subsidised fertilizer because others are not on the beneficiary list.
The due were speaking when they addressed a press briefing in Kawambwa District, Sunday.
Katambo revealed that 61,400 metric tonnes of D-Compound fertilizer have been distributed to the district.
“The Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in Luapula Province has been going on very well. The suppliers started with the seed and the seed has been distributed to the province 100 per cent. D-Compound also has been distributed to the province 100 per cent against the 61,863 beneficiaries of which 61,400 have contributed the K400 and those are the ones that have been targeted to benefit from the FISP implementation for 2019/2020 farming season. Of course, as 61,400 highlighted by the father in the church, a number of beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme in Kawambwa District is 12,500. So, the district was allocated 2,840 metric tonnes of D-Compound and all the D-Compound has been distributed by the national supplier, who happens to be NCZ (Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia) and Nyimba Investments,” Katambo said.
“The same is true for seed. Maize was distributed and allocated at 125 metric tonnes, which has all been received. On the distribution of Urea (fertilizer), we are only remaining with about two per cent, but the district was allocated 2,100 metric tonnes of which 90 per cent of the 2,100 metric tonnes has been distributed. As we are speaking now, the supplier is distributing the Urea on the remaining quantities. So, the distribution of inputs in the province has been going on very well and almost at 100 per cent.”
And Chilangwa said not every farmer must receive fertilizer because some were not on the beneficiary list.
“I would like to believe that figures don’t lie. People must just go in the field and see the kind of crop that we have in Kawambwa. Go round the entire Luapula Province, see the kind of crops that we have. The crop itself will tell you a story. Secondly, it’s not everybody who must receive fertilizer. This must be very clear. The problem we have with individuals is they think everybody must receive the fertilizer and FISP. There are lists of beneficiaries who must receive the inputs. So, where we get it wrong is where because of my neighbour, who is on the FISP [list] has received the inputs, I must also wait to receive inputs. No, it doesn’t work like that,” Chilangwa said.
He, however, encouraged those that had not registered as FISP beneficiaries to do so.
“You go back to the basics, you go back to your cooperatives or your clubs and then you escalate it to the camp and then to the district if you want to be a beneficiary. But going into the future, obviously, as directed by His Excellency, the President, we need to increase the number of beneficiaries in Luapula Province because the current 61,000…I would like to believe that we need to go to about 100,000. That we must do without any shadow of doubt,” said Chilangwa.