Central province Minister Davies Chisopa has described the e-voucher implemented by the PF as a flop and says that if it means marching to President Edgar Lungu to register the complaint, it shall be done because people’s tempers are very high. He told a group of farmers that he will not sit idle to see a failed project being imposed on poor people.
Chisopa made the remarks after touring cooperatives in Munyama, Kasavasa and Chililalila in the outskirts of Kabwe where he was informed that to date most farmers have not yet received the fertiliser while they used their own money to buy seed which has already been planted. He called for the withdrawal of the system since it was just being piloted. But during the launch in Choma, President Edgar Lungu insisted that the system was good. Lungu’s remarks were echoed by Agriculture minister given Lubinda who said that the government will not withdraw the system but extend it to many other parts of the country.
Chisopa, who is Mkushi South PF MP said that he has since embarked on a fact finding mission to establish the correct figures of the farmers who have been disadvantaged farmers so that he has specifics as he confronts Lungu and the relevant minister. In Chisopa’s constituency alone, over 500 farmers have been ommitted from the FISP.
But the affected farmers complained that they risk losing even the hard earned money which they used in buying the seed because they don’t have fertiliser. They said that they felt cheated because they were given cards which have not been activated and are being turned away by most agricultural dealers appointed to implement the e-voucher system.
Under a normal agriculture system, by this time of the year both basal and top dressing fertiliser must have been applied if a proper yield is to be realised but most farmers under the Farmer input Support Programme (FISP) have not yet received their inputs, thereby creating a food