Member of Parliament for Thyolo Thava Lifred Nawena has hailed the impact of the subsidized fertilizer, saying there has been a marked improvement in the pattern of distribution and the availability of the commodity in the selling points.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentarian said this in August House on Tuesday during the question and answer segment as part of the general business as the house continues its deliberations on the ongoing 44th session.
Nawena stood to recuse himself from the question which was appearing on the order paper informing the house through the Second Deputy Speaker of parliament Julian Mphande that the question appearing under his name was supposed to be on the order paper last year and not during this session.
“Madam Deputy Speaker am surprised that the question appearing under my name on today’s order paper is coming today. That question was meant for last year and not for this particular sitting, in fact it is worth noting that there has been a massive improvement in terms of fertiliser distribution this year as compared to the previous years,” said Nawena amid hand clapping from the Government benches.
According to the order paper the legislature from Thyolo Thava was supposed to ask the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security if he was aware that the deliveries of the farm inputs to his constituency were scanty and erratic forcing some farmers to spend weeks at Chonde market to wait for the commodity.
Reacting to this statement the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ulemu Chilapondwa who was answering the questions commended the spirit shown by Nawena saying what the DPP parliamentarian echoes to what he has been saying in parliament all along.
“I have always said here that the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) has improved so much this year and we have recorded a huge success. I have to thank honourable Nawena for being such bold to admit and applaud us because it is not only in his constituency where things have worked out well but a majority is scared to acknowledge that,” said Chilapondwa.
The deputy minister said the establishment of toll free line in the areas also helped a lot as people were able to notify the police, agriculture officers and even political leaders if and when they noted any anomalies in the distribution of fertiliser in their respective areas.
“Right now as Government we want to identify areas where the maize production has not done well due to poor rains so that they embark on irrigation farming to avert any possibility of hunger in the country and the president has already given us an okay to that,” said Chilapondwa.
The issue Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) has come out as one of the main contentious subjects during the current seating of parliament with many members decrying the use of coupons as it is giving loopholes to some unscrupulous traders to access the commodity for resale at a high price.