Lusaka, Sep 9 (IANS) Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday flagged off the distribution of subsidized farming inputs to small holder farmers to help them raise production.
The inputs are being distributed under the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) to help small-scale farmers have access to affordable agricultural inputs in a timely manner, Xinhua news agency reported.
Launching the program in central Zambia’s Chisamba district, the Zambian president said the government has put in place a robust data management and monitoring system to ensure that unintended beneficiaries were removed from the program.
According to him, the distribution of agricultural inputs last year, coupled with improved targeting of FISP beneficiaries and good rainfall resulted in the country recording a bumper harvest for the 2019-20 farming season.
He noted that in view of many challenges being faced such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, the government’s focus was securing enough food for the people.
Early importation and early distribution of agricultural inputs are one of the strategies to ensure national food security, he added.
“As we stand now, and despite border restrictions due to Covid-19, the country is very secure with agricultural inputs hence we are assured of farming this coming agricultural season,” he said.
The program was introduced in 2002 as part of the government’s efforts to diversify the economy with agriculture as one of the pivotal sectors.