The Agri Business Association of Zambia plans to demonstrate at Parliament grounds on Wednesday 25th September 2019 against the non payment to agro dealers who have been supplying fertiliser to farmers under the government Farmer Input Support Program (FISP).
According to a notice dated 13th September 2019 signed by Spokesperson Bright Chikambwe and addressed to Lusaka Province Police Commissioner, the agro dealers have stated that government owes them from the 2015/16 farming season to date.
The failures by government to pay the agro dealers who are owed over K400 million may negatively affect the 2019/20 farming season.
Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo recently promised that fertilizer was going to be distributed to farmers from the first week of September 2019 but to date no farmer has received any fertilizer as government has to clear the agro dealers first before the fertilizer can be distributed.
Government has been blaming the challenges facing the agriculture sector on climate change but mismanagement of the sector has negatively affected the sector. Farming inputs have continuously been distributed around February and March, way past the planting season.