Delay in input distribution sabotage-Lungu

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 09:55:37 +0000

By Gwendolyn Mchenga

THE delay in the distribution of farming inputs in areas such as Luangwa, Rufunsa and Chirundu districts is as a result of the negligence, incompetence and an act of possible sabotage by some civil servants charged with the responsibility to distribute the inputs, President Edgar Lungu has charged.

President Lungu has expressed concern at the delays in the distribution of farming inputs during his three-day tour of Lusaka rural districts last week and has since directed Government agencies charged with the responsibility to distribute seed and fertilizer to ensure that the commodities reached all corners of the country within a week.

Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda said the Head of State had also directed the Ministry of Agriculture officials in all districts to ensure that farmers were accessing the commodities without undue delays and that the Treasury should ensure that financial obligations due to suppliers were met expeditiously.

And President Lungu has directed all district commissioners and provincial permanent secretaries to give a daily account of the status of the agro input distribution.

President Lungu said that in some cases, both basal and top dressing fertilizers had been distributed but seed has not yet arrived, thereby undermining the chances of a good harvest next year.

The Head of State has since warned of drastic action against any civil servant failing to discharge their responsibilities effectively in this regard.

“The situation is unacceptable and tough measures will be instituted against officers responsible,’’ President Lungu said.

President Lungu has however assured farmers countrywide that he had taken personal interest to ensure that the input distribution exercise succeeded so that the country could surpass the 2016 harvest.

He said he was reliably informed by weather experts that this year the country would have good rainfall throughout the season and that he would make sure that fertilizer and seed procurement processes were done on time.

“I cannot accept any excuses for poor performance that might lead to a poor harvest. I will be taking decisive action against any civil servant at any level who will be seen to be standing in our way in our quest to ensure sustainable food security. Last week, President Lungu undertook a tour of developmental projects in Luangwa, Rufunsa and Chirundu where he discovered that the distribution of farm inputs was being delayed.


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