Consider other agro activities – JCTR

GOVERNMENT has been urged to consider allocating more resources to other agricultural activities instead of channelling most of the funds to Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) social and economic development programme officer Faith Adwoko said the huge amount of funds in the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is taken up by FISP and FRA, thus depriving other sub-sectors such as livestock.
Ms Adwoko said it is clear that much of the funding allocated to the various departments within the ministry still falls under the poverty reduction programme (PRPs).
“The PRP programme funds are to a large extent allocated to FISP and the FRA that is K500 million and K1.01 billion, respectively. The huge amount from the budget that these two programmes take and considering that they support the use of fertiliser clearly, shows that Government’s priority is in fertiliser-based agriculture,” she said.
Ms Adwoko said this during the policy brief launch and dialogue meeting on the promotion and adoption of sustainable agricultural systems addressing food security, rural poverty and climate change in Lusaka on Tuesday.
She urged Government to set a clear budget line dedicated to sustainable agricultural systems.
“JCTR, therefore, offer policy recommendations that re-align the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock’s budget to encourage sustainable agricultural practices by re-allocating excess funds from FISP,” she said.
Ms Adwoko also called on Government to consider allocating 10 percent in the next budget to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to support the growth of the sector.

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