"...farmers are planting uncertified seed because there is no one to offer technical advice....This is manifested in the current shortcomings of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) which is benefiting people who are not farmers but crooks bent on re-selling the subsidised inputs....We do not have agricultural extension officers here to advise on what crops to grow in different types of soils. How can we succeed in farming without technical advice from agricultural experts?....Genuine farmers don’t get seed and fertiliser from the FSP because criminals have found loopholes and are accessing the commodity and reselling at inflated prices, incapacitating actual producers.....Government should come up with deliberate and workable policies that will promote food production. I do not see why this nation should be importing maize when we have the capacity to produce...This year, seed and fertiliser was given to farmers in December when rains started in November. What type of planning is this?”
Chief Macha of Choma wonderfully echoing the findings from the FSRP paper discussed under the post Zambian agriculture, income diversification & rural poverty.... Lack of coordination, ineffective technical infrastructure and the rampant rent seeking of subsidies are just some of the basic problems that the current GRZ policy on agriculture has failed to address.
Update : More reaction to the inputs distribution, with the National Association of Peasant and Small Scale Farmers of Zambia (NAPSFZ) describing this year's inputs distribution exercise as the worst since the fertiliser support programme (FSP) was implemented.
Update : Reaction from the Opposition. The central claim is that government used the FSP as an election gimmick and the whole process was poorly organised which has led to more opportunities for corruption. In addition, they observe that the "MMD government had exacerbated the corruption in the distribution of fertiliser through the inclusion of civil servants and military personnel in the FSP bracket". The inclusion of these groups "defeated the purpose the FSP was created for as civil servants and soldiers had monthly incomes with the capacity to buy off the fertiliser and resale it at blotted prices".