By NOEL IYOMBWA
GOVERNMENT has set aside 1.7 billion Kwacha to help one million farmers under the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP) access fertilizer and seed ahead of the 2020-2021 farming season.
And Government has given farmers a go ahead to start depositing the K400 contribution towards FISP.
Agriculture Minister, Michael Katambo, said that FISP beneficiaries should begin to pay their K400 contribution to the programme in readiness for the 2020-2021 farming season. He said that all the one million beneficiary farmers had already been captured in the system.
Mr Katambo said this when he visited some seed companies to check on their readiness ahead of the farming season.
The minister said that 90 percent of the fertiliser had been procured and that Government would ensure that seeds too were delivered to farmers on time.
He said if all the requirements were in place in good time, yields among small-scale farmers would improved from two to five tonnes per hectare.
Mr Katambo explained that Government would always ensure that inputs were delivered in time so as to improve production and productivity.
The minister also urged farmers to engage in good farming practices so as to improve and increase yields.
Government has contracted nine seed suppliers while six companies had also been contracted to supply fertiliser for the 2020-2021 under FISP to be delivered through the direct supply and e-voucher system.