“Civil Servants are the ones benefiting from FISP”

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I am a concerned Zambian citizen who would like to know how the Farmer Input Support Programe (FISP) ‘NOW’ works.

Here where I am, I have come to notice that the majority of beneficiaries are Civil Servants instead of the intended farmers. The reason for my concern is that I remember the then Minister of Agriculture a few years back, Honourable Felix Mutali, during a budget presentation made good emphasis that the sole reason the program was developed was for the benefit of the farmers only and not GRZ workers. Some are going as far as including spouses, children and dependants.

Cases here are that there is a deal that is arranged between an employee and a farmer. the arrangement is that the employee gets the farmer’s card(s) and goes and makes the K400 deposit for him/her. The officer then goes ahead and redeems the inputs from the Agro-dealer. The sharing then takes place and, unfortunately, the farmer is left with a very small portion. The sad part is the officer is guaranteed a monthly from our very capable government which they can use to buy their own fertiliser instead of leaving the farmers with very little which they get only once a year. Some officers go as far as holding to as many as 30 cards for the farmers. Now if we do the mathematics here, it is clear that officers can even farm much larger portions of land compared to the rightfully deserving farmer.

Now is the ‘HUGE’ chunk of the national budget allocated to FISP supposed to benefit those who are already with an income or the whole Zambian population?

I rest my case
Regards

The Vigilant Zambian

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