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Bumper harvest must improve farmers, prods Kasote Singogo

Bumper harvest must improve farmers, prods Kasote Singogo

January 23
15:43 2018

Kasote Singogo with Maybin Augustine Katungulu Radio Maria Yatsani 99.3FM Tuesday 23 Jan 2018 pix by Derrick Sinjela

By Derrick Sinjela

Agricultural policies and bumper harvest must positively transform farmers livelihood, says Party of National Unity (PNU) Secretary General Kasote Singogo.
Singogo is worried that though government continuously celebrates bumper harvest figures as three thousand metric tonnes, farmers remain poor.
Featuring on a Radio Maria Yatsani Voice 99.3FM Good Governance programme, anchored by Maybin Augustine Katungulu on Tuesday 23rd January 2018, Singogo says policies in agriculture must transform peasant farmers.
“It is important that agricultural policies must not just provide incentives but ensure that farmers are guaranteed a good price,” said Singogo.
However, Singogo says the e-voucher system must be holistically improved through elaborate infrastructure as internet and finances must be assured.
On lessons learnt, Singogo  said it is imperative for Zambia to take a thorough  appraisal of the e-voucher system.
Singogo says their is value for the Zambian Government through President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya to revert to the past system.
A caller expressed worry that Zambian politicians tend to politicize issues instead of showing the farmer where to sell maize at a profit.
“So, many farmers in the Northern province being frustrated by technicians. For me I am not selling my maize to the Government,” said the Roma resident.
A Mr. Musanje, a farmer in Keembe, Central Province lamented on distance to Chibombo District to transact and internet is not good.
Zalilo Hamazama, a farmer in Lundazi says the e-voucher system is good as it is targeted at vulnerable communities.
Paul Kabwe a farmer concurred with Singogo arguing that the programme has flopped on account of teething challenges.
Tembo of Bauleni, with a farming land in Kafue urged Siliya to emulate former Agriculture Minister, the late Mundia Sikatana by ensuring that farming inputs; fertilizer and seed are provided in October.
A second farmer,  in Chongwe wondered how a computerised system could give others access more bags.
In Kasisi, farmers are focussed on organic farming as yield is guaranteed.
In response, Singogo says even in Mafinga District, Muchinga Province the e-voucher system is failing.
“The e-voucher system introduced by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is a flop,” said Singogo.
Singogo says Zambia must analyse why a good e-voucher system is failing at implementation, as government is not putting in money and electronic banking infrastructure is erratic.

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