Farmers in Mpika District in Muchinga Province have started collecting farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for 2022/2023 farming season.
Mpika District Agriculture Coordinator (DACO) Justine Ngosa says more than 7,000 farmers who have made deposits will benefit from the FISP program.
So far only 200 beneficiaries have redeemed their inputs.
The district has received D Compound Fertiliser, Urea, Maize seed and Soy Beans seed.
“The inputs received to date include 486MT Fertiliser, that is D Compound and Urea, and then we also have 75.7MT of maize seed and 93MT of Soy Beans seed,” said Mr Ngosa.
Expressing his satisfaction with the new system of group redeeming and collection of inputs which faster, Mr. Ngosa said the district is yet to receive more Urea and D Compound fertiliser as well as groundnut seeds.
And Mpika District Commissioner David Siame says the total allocation for Mpika District is 8,960.
Revealing that the area has recorded 89.2% deposit rates so far, the District Commissioner attributed this to new system unlike in the past where the old Authorities to Collect system (ATCs) which often delayed the redeeming process.
“In the last couple of weeks, we have been using the old system of redeeming inputs, after complaints from farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture advised DACOs to start using Group collection and this has helped speed up the process,” said Mr Siame.
He has also advised farmers not to sell the inputs as these inputs are meant to help their families and alleviate poverty.
Meanwhile, Mpika District Marketing Development Officer (DMDO) Esneya Hara says the redeeming of Inputs is steady with a few challenges with the system.
Ms. Hara added that the Input pack consists of six by 50kg fertiliser, one by 10kg maize seed and 20kg groundnut seed or 25kg Soya beans seed.