By KETRA KALUNGA
GOVERNMENT should seal all loopholes in the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) that disadvantaged eligible farmers, the private sector has said. Additionally, government has been advised to wean off farmers from the FISP after four years in order for more emerging farmers to benefit. Private Sector Development Association of Zambia (PSDAZ) chairperson, Yusuf Dodia, said the UPND administration should ensure that corruption under FISP are curtailed.
Mr Dodia said in an interview that huge sums of money under FISP was being stolen using government mechanisms in the previous administration. “We saw that a lot of money was being stolen under FISP through government and not necessarily from the private sector,” he said. Mr. Dodia said farmers who had been on FISP for four years should be removed because within that period they would have increased their produce and raised enough money to sustain themselves.
He said having the same farmers on FISP for more than 10 years would not help the country grow the agriculture sector. “FISP is supposed to run with each farmer for four years by that time they are strong enough to generate good money to take care of themselves. “We cannot have FISP to run for 10, 20 years it means we are not doing anything, we are not achieving anything,” he said.