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ENRICH DISCOURSE

WITH about 21 days before the general elections, politicians ought to enrich their discourse to inspire the electorate and prove that indeed they are capable of running public affairs.

All the while, many politicians have concentrated on accusations and counter accusations on tribalism, leaving many pertinent issues yawning and begging for answers.

Clearly, discussions should have been centred on improving priority sectors such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing in the face of the ravaging Covid-19, which now appears to be a permanent feature.

Other sectors that should have taken centre-stage in political discourse are mining, energy and construction.

Many a time, politicians have been glossing over issues pertaining to the critical sectors of the economy.

Yes, some political figures have been pledging to improve agriculture and other sectors, without giving a convincing explanation how they intend to do it. They have casually been talking about the “what” without delving into the “how” all the time.

In agriculture, one of the talking points should have been the imperative need to restructure the Farmer Input Support programme (FISP) in a manner that will guarantee diversification.

It is also important to ensure that the FISP initiative only benefit the deserving small-scale viable farmers that will be able to graduate after three years of being on the programme.

FISP was designed to support small-scale and viable farmers in identified and traceable groups such as cooperatives, who should receive subsidised inputs for three years and graduate to sustainable levels thereafter.

Such farmers are supposed to be monitored through the agriculture extension services and should give way after three years so that others could also benefit.

In restructuring this programme, Government should equally promote and subsidise growing of groundnuts, beans and other crops to accelerate diversification as opposed to concentrating on maize growing.

Extension services, market access and networking must be promoted among small-scale farmers who would eventually graduate into commercial farmers.

These are issues politicians must be discussing without telling the people about tribes!

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