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FISP FINANCED MAIZE GOING TO WASTE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

FISP FINANCED MAIZE GOING TO WASTE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Dear Editor,

LATEST reports on the status of FISP financed maize across the country is a serious concern.

The Vice President, in collaboration with the Ministers Finance and Agriculture must be compelled to issue a comprehensive statement in parliament this week on the status of FISP financed maize, and other crops. 

First, there is saddening outcry by small-scale farmers across the country who are stuck with maize because the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) had stopped buying maize. 

Then there is another outcry from small-scale farmers across the country whose maize is going to waste because secure maize storage facilities across the country are not enough.

As if that is not enough agony, the Minister of Agriculture informed Parliament last week that the UPND Government has no plans, whatsoever, to reform the FISP programme inherited from MMD and PF.

The implication of the FISP policy statement by the Minister, implies that FRA and FISP will continue receiving limited funds from Government to support limited farmers on the data base; and that FISP and FRA will continue providing limited inputs to farmers and buy limited tonnes of maize within the limited timeframe; and that FRA will continue buying maize from small-scale farmers without regard to cost-reflective pricing envisaged for the electricity; that FRA will continue to maintain limited secure storage spaces for all FISP financed crops; and that other things will be done in a fashion no different from the experience endured under the PF and MMD regimes. Now, the tax payers spend lots of money on FISP and FRA. 

In view of the reported wastage of maize and lack of market, it is imperative that this week in Parliament, Government provides a clear picture to the nation what is going on with regard to FISP and FRA financing and outputs. It is imperative that the nation is given categorical answers to the following questions:

In terms of funds, how much was budgeted, and actually released by the Ministry of Finance to pay for FISP and FRA activities in the 2021 farming season?

What was the target for maize production in the 2021 farming season?

How many tonnes of maize were actually produced in 2021 through the FISP financed programme?

How many tonnes of maize were actually produced in 2021 through non-FISP programmes?

Respectively, what was the estimated storage capacity for maize in 2020, and 2021 farming seasons?

How much was budgeted for maize purchase for the 2021 farming season?

How much was actually disbursed by Government for buy FISP financed maize in the 2021 farming season?

What tonnage of FISP financed maize has been bought in 2021 farming season?

What is the actual cost of FISP financed maize bought in the 2021 farming season?

What tonnage of FISP financed maize remains unpurchased across the country?

What tonnage of FISP financed maize has gone to waste in the last two months?

How much was budgeted through FISP for production of other crops, besides maize, in the 2021 farming season?

How much was actually disbursed through FISP for production of non-maize crops in the 2021 farming season?

What is the tonnage of each type of FISP financed non-maize crops produced in the 2021 farming season?

What is the market value of each type of FISP financed non-maize crop produced in the 2021 farming season?

Did any of FISP financed non-maize crops go to waste in the 2021 farming season?

What is the tonnage of each of the non-maize crops financed through FISP bought through FRA in the 2021 farming season?

 

NB. Assistants for the President, Vice President, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Agriculture, as always, please pass on this query to your principals, so that they ensure action is, accordingly, taken in Parliament this week.

 

PETER SINKAMBA.

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