The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) calls on Government to provide a strategy
on the process of reforming Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to address challenges that negatively affect farmers.
CTPD acting executive director Isaac Mwaipopo said there is need for Government to focus on restructuring the structural and design challenges that are hindering the effective implementation and operation of FISP and FRA.
In a statement issued recently, Mr Mwaipopo said it is imperative that the Ministry of Agriculture provides a guide to help various interested stakeholders to participate in the process.
“We understand that the implementation of FISP and the operation of FRA have not lived up to their expectations of many targeted beneficiaries, hence reforming of these two is long overdue…In the absence of a detailed road map, CTPD is of the view that this anticipated policy direction reform might not be realised,” he said.
Mr Mwaipopo is concerned that Government has continued to make pronouncements around plans to reform FISP and FRA but without a road map being outlined nor indicating when exactly the process will start and end.
He, however, said FISP and FRA are not bad initiatives but that the lapses in the delivery of farming inputs to farmers have been cited as the major challenge slowing the effectiveness of the programme with the current agricultural season not being an exception
“We are aware of districts that were receiving farming inputs as late as last week…There is urgent need to depoliticise the programme if it is to meet its intended purpose,” he said.