Thursday, September 12, 2013

Govt on target to meet fertiliser demand
By Stuart Lisulo
Tue 27 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE GOVERNMENT is on target to meet fertiliser demand across the country before the September 30 deadline, according to official figures.

Figures from the Farmer Input Support Programme for the week ending August 16, 2013 have revealed that from the cumulative bulk of 60,956 tonnes secured, 26,641 tonnes have been dispatched to districts across the country, achieving a percentage ratio of 38 per cent in terms of distribution.

Agriculture minister Robert Sichinga said these figures suggest an achievement on the part of the government.

It has never happened before. From 26th June to 16th August, that is how far we have gone. My target is September 30 and we would have finished distributing the fertiliser that we have produced. This is a success story, Sichinga said.

He said if the rains were to come in October, most of the people would have received their fertiliser.

In terms of securing the cumulative bulk of fertiliser of which government's target was 70,000 tonnes, Sichinga said he government would have secured the remaining 9,044 tonnes by this month-end.

So far we have 86 per cent (of the cumulative bulk), with 14 per cent to go, he said.

And regarding the current status of tenders for the supply of top dressing fertilisers, Sichinga confirmed that his ministry was still working on the issue.

We want it to be done properly. What I don't want is this issue of corruption being involved in the tender bid process, he said.
Sichinga also reiterated the government's commitment and seriousness in taking down all existing cartels within the agriculture sector.

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