Ex-Minister, Mpombo, lampoons decision to phase out agric support programme, says it’s suicidal


Government should invest more in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to take advantage of business that has come with the increasing demand for maize in the region instead of phasing it out.

This has been suggested by the ex-Defense Minister, George Mpombo, who expressed shock that government was considering phasing out the FISP programme.

Mpombo in an interview on Wednesday said it was shocking that government was contemplating on FISP, a programme that had proved to be working and effective as Zambia was the only country that still had non-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize in the region.

“Currently the demands coming from outside are a threat to Zambia’s food security. Government must make sure they pump in more money into FISP for the coming farming season so that they could satisfy the demand in the region and earn foreign exchange,” he said.

Read more: Farmers express apprehension over planned phase out of govt support programme

Mpombo said it was shocking that government wanted to phase out a programme that had produced massive dividends to the small-scale farmers and the nation at large.

He alleged that the United Party for National Development was politically embarking on a suicidal mission because the consequences of their planned action would attract a massive backlash from the farmers.

He said what government was supposed to do was to consolidate the benefits of FISP and start improving on its performance.

“Right now, FISP is delivering and it would achieve wonders if more measures were put in place to streamline operations like the problems of misapplication,” Mpombo said.

He also said the priority should not even be to service the yawning market in the region but it should aim at making the staple food available and affordable in the country.

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