Agriculture

FARMERS SMUGGLING SUBSIDISED INPUTS INTO TANZANIA

By SILUMESI MALUMO
OVERNMENT has directed the police in Muchinga Province to arrest farmers selling subsidised farming inputs in Tanzania and other neighbouring countries.

Nakonde District Commissioner, Field Simwinga, said some farmers were selling their inputs accessed under Farmers’ Input Support Programme (FISP) to neighbouring countries, thereby frustrating Government’s efforts of boosting the agriculture sector.
But in an interview yesterday, Agriculture Minister, Michael Katambo, said such illegalities should not be overlooked but ensure that farm-ers involved were arrested.
Mr Katambo was disappointed that vulnerable farmers who had been identified to access subsidised inputs could indulge in such conduct.
He urged the provincial minister, Mr Malozo Sichone, Permanent Secretary, Joyce Nsamba, the District Commissioner and agriculture of-ficers to ensure all those involved were arrested. “It saddening that Government has identified vulnerable people to be beneficiaries but these are the ones being involved in fraudulent activities, this is unacceptable.
“President Lungu gave a directive that these inputs should go to intended beneficiaries and shall not be sold, even the bags are written GRZ and not for sale. Is our officers identifying wrong beneficiaries the answer is no, it’s the same beneficiaries who are selling the inputs.
Government, he said, was helping the farmers in order to enhance productivity and increase the household income and household food se-curity.

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