Dear Editor, kindly withhold my identity. As an employee within the ministry of agriculture I would like to bring to light developments that are transpiring within our ministry. As an online media forum I would like to appeal to all the relevant authorities to look into my matter below.
With the hurdles encountered for the 2013/2014 farming season one would expect the powers that be to intervene to avert another failed season due to inconsistencies within the ministry. Over the years we’ve had to lament and see how food production has continued to spiral downwards with each passing season.
For the 2013/2014, the then agriculture Ministry Hon Bob Sichinga misled the people to believe that importing fertiliser directly from Saudi Arabia would save government huge sums of money, contrary to the misconception, the ministry has overspent money that could have been otherwise used to develop other sectors of the economy such as roads, hospitals etc. Taking into consideration the logistics involved, our figures indicate that roughly $15,000,000 for the 2013/2014 farming season was over allocated to the FISP program. This’s in relation to the purchasing of the 50,000tons of urea from Saudi Arabia.
For the 2014/2015 farming season under the instruction of Honourable Chikwanda the government is scheduled to sign an agreement for an additional procurement of 50,000 tons with a Saudi delegation on the 14th of April 2014.
Considering that the 2013/2014 farming season was a failed season where farmers got inputs as late as January due to inconsistencies in involving the private sector we cannot let a repeat of last year happen. We’re appealing to all the relavent parties to look into the matter, we cannot afford to experiment with the lives of the vulnerable at the expense of vested interests.
As a citizen of Zambia, and for the sake of my beloved Zambia it’s important that such greed is brought to light because we cannot afford to have food security being experimented with again.