Aug. 9, 2012
Zambia government has finished the tendering process for the supply of fertiliser under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2012/2013 farming season.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development Emmanuel Chenda said Government concluded the tendering process last week and will this week announce successful bidders that will be engaged to supply fertiliser under the FISP.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the distribution of fertiliser and seed to farmers will soon commence to avoid delays.
Mr Chenda said Government will monitor the distribution exercise and ensure that the inputs allocated to provinces reach designated depots and targeted farmers in a timely and transparent manner.
He said Government will work round-the-clock to ensure that the fertiliser and seed reach targeted farmers before the onset of the rainy season.
“We are happy as a ministry that we concluded the tendering process last week and we will this week announce the successful bidders which will be engaged to supply fertiliser under the FISP.
“We will closely monitor the whole process and ensure that the distribution of farm inputs is done in a more transparent manner. We don’t want corruption in this process,” Mr Chenda said.
He said Government is aware of the challenges faced in the distribution of farm inputs in recent years which made it difficult for many farmers to access the commodities.
Mr Chenda said Government will not allow a situation where unscrupulous business people cheat peasant farmers that they would cheaply supply them with seed and fertiliser.
He said Government has put in place measures such as the formation of camp fertiliser committees to ensure that inputs reach intended beneficiaries throughout the country.
Mr Chenda said through FISP, many parts of the country are now recording increased crop yields.
The minister said he is happy that the FISP is contributing to enhanced national food security and that Government will continue supporting farmers to ensure that Zambia becomes a food basket in southern Africa.
Mr Chenda urged farmers to take advantage of the FISP to grow more food for their consumption and for sale to the Food Reserve Agency.