Friday, December 19, 2008

(LUSAKATIMES) Civil servants allegedly resellinbuka g FSP inputs in Maza

Civil servants allegedly resellinbuka g FSP inputs in Maza
December 19, 2008

Some civil servants in Mazabuka are allegedly reselling fertiliser and other input which they received under the Fetiliser Support Programme (FSP) to other small scale farmers.

The civil servants are said to be reselling the inputs to other small scale farmers at an exorbitant price.

Chief Mwanachingwala told ZANIS in Mazabuka today some government workers were reselling the fertiliser because they allegedly had no use for the commodity for they did not own field where to do the farming.

The chief said the development was disappointing because genuine farmers, who should have benefited from the programme, have been left out in order to consider some civil servants for the programme.

He regretted that some civil servants, who were supposed to help government in enhancing food security, were frustrating a well intended scheme whose aim was to improve household food security.

Chief Mwanachingwala also alleged that some civil servants had even bought vehicles using money accrued from the sale of FSP inputs.

The traditional ruler has meanwhile advised government to seriously investigate how the fertiliser was distributed to the beneficiaries.

But Mazabuka District Agricultural Coordinator DACO), Hastins Nyambe dismissed the allegation the chief Mwanachingwala saying it was not true that some civil servants that benefited from the FSP were reselling their input.

Mr. Nyambe said his office has not received any reports about civil servants reselling government fertiliser.

He however, urged the chief to produce evidence in order for the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to follow up the case.

Mr. Nyambe said civil servants accessed fertiliser following directives by government.

He was however quick to point out that only a small fraction of civil servants obtained the commodity while a big number has been left out.

And over 4,000 small scale farmers in Lusaka district have benefited from the government subsidised farming inputs under the fertilizer Support Programme (FSP) for the 2008/2009 farming season.

And 120,000 by 50 kilogrammes (kg) bags of maize are expected to be produced in the next harvest season by the same beneficiaries of the FSP.

This came to light during the Lusaka District Development Coordinating Committee, (DDCC) meeting chaired by Lusaka District Commissioner, Christah Kalulu, in Lusaka yesterday.

In its report to the meeting, the Agriculture and Forestry Sub-Committee also stated that 130 farmer groups and cooperatives accessed maize seeds and fertilizer for this farming season after they paid 25 per cent contribution.

Beneficiaries included the disabled people, civil servants men and women in uniform, widows, widowers, senior citizens, youths, orphans and other vulnerable groups.

The Agriculture and Forestry Sub-Committee also reported that the 2009 harvest will greatly contribute to food security at household level and impact positively on the high mealie meal prices which the country is currently experiencing.

The DDCC was further informed that 108 beneficiaries, about 80 per cent of whom are females, had been given inputs under the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) in Kabangwe, Masuku and Ngwerere areas of Lusaka district.

And Lusaka district is likely to receive normal rainfall from the period January to March 2009.

The DDCC meeting also heard that the rain season would be characterized by flash floods due to the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) along the southern border of Zambia.


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