The Ministry of Agriculture in Southern Province has officially kicked off the distribution of agricultural inputs as part of the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) for the 2023/2024 farming season.
During the launch event held in Zimba, Dr. Maxwell Choombe, the Southern Province Agriculture Coordinator, emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring that these inputs are used for their intended purpose.
Dr. Choombe underlined that strict measures have been put in place to prevent farmers from selling or sharing the farming inputs provided under the FISP. Any violation of this rule will result in severe consequences, including deregistration and blacklisting from the program’s beneficiaries list.
Furthermore, he urged farmers to plant certified seeds rather than recycled ones, highlighting that using the right seeds is crucial for achieving better yields in the upcoming season.
In Southern Province, the recommended seed varieties are medium and early-maturing, and Dr. Choombe encouraged farmers to consult with local agricultural experts to make informed choices.
For farmers in the Gwembe Valley, Dr. Choombe advised focusing on early-maturing seed varieties, considering the anticipated low rainfall patterns in the region.
Zimba District Commissioner, Mr. Rabson Mulamfwu, expressed the government’s delight in seeing full participation from farmers who receive these inputs. He assured farmers in Zimba that the government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), will prioritize the purchase of maize from FISP beneficiaries.
Mr. Mulamfwu also encouraged farmers to practice conservation farming and emphasized the importance of early land preparation for achieving better yields in the upcoming season.
The early distribution of inputs was praised by Zimba Council Chairperson Madam Loveness Chigora. She described it as the fulfillment of the UPND government’s campaign promise and appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to consider increasing the number of FISP beneficiaries in Zimba, given the growing number of small-scale farmers in the area.
Approximately 7,653 farmers in the Zimba district are expected to benefit from the Farmer Input Support Program, which will undoubtedly play a significant role in enhancing agricultural productivity in the region.
This information has been issued by Mastone Moonze, Public Relations Officer.