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Agriculture ‘mess’ will impact food security – Mpombo

By JOHN KOMBE

The management of agriculture by the New Dawn administration is a total mess and will negatively impact the 2021/2022 agriculture produce, says veteran politician, George Mpombo.

Dr Mpombo who made the observation in an interview described the 2021/2022 FISP distribution exercise as topsy-turvy.

 He was commenting on the statement by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Mtolo Phiri in which he lifted the suspension of the distribution of FISP supplementary packs which include legumes and fertilisers among other inputs.

He said that the lifting of the suspension was a clear indication that the UPND government’s decisions were hasty and unguided by appropriate information. According to Dr. Mpombo, agriculture for small scale farmers was tied to a three months’ period and wondered how the supplementary inputs would make any positive impact on the agriculture sector. He pointed out that legumes are planted in mid-December and as such the late distribution was tantamount to pouring resources in a bottomless pit.

“The agriculture inputs were delayed without good reason and now the supplementary inputs have been okayed when it is too late to effectively utilise them. What is the rationale behind all this? The government is actually planning to fail,” Dr Mpombo said.

He further charged that the Minister of Agriculture had demonstrated his lack of technical know-how on matters of agriculture. 

  Agriculture activities,  he said, were informed by science and cannot be done to suit one’s convenience. 

He stressed that agriculture activities were systematic and wondered how the so called methodical government was failing to appreciate systematic undertakings in the agriculture sector.

Dr. Mpombo said that the 2021/2022 farming season for the small scale farmers that were on FISP would be a total failure due to late delivery of inputs and misguided decisions. 

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