By ROGERS KALERO
IT is disappointing that the UPND which claimed to have solutions to the various challenges the country was facing is already making unnecessary mistakes and giving excuses after less than two months in government,” Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) President Kasonde Mwenda has said.
Mr Mwenda said, during campaigns, the UPND articulated well on how it would run the agriculture sector, but it was embarrassing that, due to poor planning, the government had failed to distribute agricultural inputs on time thereby disrupting the farming cycle.
Mr Mwenda was reacting to revelation by Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri that Government was late to start distributing farming inputs (Fertiliser and seeds) because it was conducting an audit.
He said, if the UPND had solutions to the challenges and problems facing the country, they would have properly planned the whole assignment of agricultural inputs to ensure they were delivered on time.
“To the farmers, what is important is the distribution of agricultural inputs on time because if that is not done on time, then their yield will be affected. With this behaviour by our New Dawn government , our harvest may be affected.
“During the time of campaigns , this New Dawn government claimed to have had solutions to the various challenges the country was facing, but they are just waffling. Waffling, even failing to distribute fertiliser on time sure? No.” Mr Mwenda said.
Mr Mwenda said it was an embarrassment that the ‘New Dawn’ government could fail to distribute agricultural inputs on time in their first year in government, when their predecessors were distributing the inputs on time.
“The farming season has already started with rainfall reported in some places already. This is October meaning we are already late for the distribution of farming inputs for the 2021 farming season which traditionally starts between September and October.
“In as much as FISP input is a progressive idea, the timing is terribly bad because the farming inputs should have been distributed by March so that farmers are accorded ample time to plan and prepare the fields. It is a good idea but poor timing ,” he said.
He advised the Minister of Agriculture to be systematic and communicate their plans to farmers to understand and plan properly, saying further delay to distribute the inputs will mess up this farming season and result in untold hunger across the country.
“Additionally, the failure by the Minister of Agriculture to provide a road map indicating when the Ministry of Agriculture will wind up the audit process and flag off the distribution of farming inputs. It is lamentable and worrisome and lamentable ,” he said..