LETTERS

Agriculture sector guarantees poverty reduction

Editor,

I want to commend the newly appointed Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya who promised to uphold the promises which the ruling party, PF, made during the just-ended election campaigns of ensuring that Zambia was food secure and a major regional agriculture exporter. It is indeed a true picture of the agricultural reality and PF leaders have recognised that growth in agriculture is the most effective strategy for reducing poverty, increasing food security, creating jobs and promoting overall economic growth as the majority of Zambia’s population lives in rural areas, with at least 80% of the workforce engaged in agriculture (“Food security a must – Dora Siliya”, Daily Nation, September 28, 2016).

FISP which is short for the Farmers Input Support Programme is a Zambian government initiative established in 2003 to accelerate agricultural growth, improve food security, nutrition, and increase incomes in the country’s largely small scale farm-based economies. It does this by raising agricultural productivity and encourages public investment in agriculture.

In the last twelve years of FISP implementation, Zambia’s agricultural sector has grown. Although moderately, it is the highest average for the last five decades and is beginning to show signs of improving the lives of poor people. This growth can be attributed partly to FISP’s emphasis on increasing productivity as well as private-public investment in the agriculture sector.

Yet the positive gains made by FISP over the years have been coupled with increased uncertainty in chemical fertilizer import markets. The fertilizer crisis, which pushed international fertilizer prices to triple their 2003 levels, peaked in mid-2014. Again end-user prices of the imported topdressing commodity shot up dramatically in the latter half of that year, as the weakening of the local currency exchange rate against the major global currencies set in too. These back-to-back crises left poor farmers in Zambia at the mercy of increased fertilizer price changes and gave them less access to resources, credit, and social protection.

Nevertheless, I strongly believe that unless the high cost of basal fertilizer production is addressed at Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), the importation of topdressing fertilizer is curtailed, ZDA and IDC facilitates the setting up of a stand-alone primary phosphate raw material processing plant in Petauke of Eastern Province to process phosphate ores into the various starting chemical raw materials, the raw materials include those for use together in the compound fertilizer section at the NCZ plant are aggressively pursued, the capturing of sulphur dioxide emissions and turning into sulphuric acid at the first acid plant, by Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) in Mufulira is enhanced and utilized, sulphuric acid which is a key ingredient in the production of superphosphate fertilizers can be transported to Petauke in Eastern Province by rail or road, unless, unless, unless… FISP budget constraints in connection with basal and topdressing fertilizers’ procurement by government cannot really be reduced.

I only hope that the PF leaders including the newly appointed Agriculture Minister will not close their ears to this clarion call to action.

Mubanga Luchembe,

LUSAKA

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

NIPA receptionist’s bad attitude

Dear Editor,

Kindly allow me space in your widely read newspaper to express my  disappointment over the kind  of arrogant  attitude or behaviour  that  one   receives   when   you go to  NIPA  main  campus reception area  for inquires.

There is some lady who is the receptionist. This lady is the rudest person I have ever come across.  The   rudeness in her goes overboard in the sense that she does that to whomever regardless of whether one is a new or old   student.  This  has  resulted  in  most  students   not   approaching her for  any information but  rather  seek assistance from  other  sources.

This  year  in   June, I  approached  her   for   some   information because  I  did  not  know  where  to   go. To my surprise, I was shocked by her response.

A few days  later, I looked   for  the  Human  Resources  Office  to  lodge  my  complaint and  he  assured   me   that they  would talk to her. I can   guarantee   that 90% of the   students   have stopped   approaching her   due   to her bad attitude.

It is vital to underscore that her position   at   the institution   requires her   to be   friendly with people. The  reception  area  of  NIPA  is  the  eye  of  the  institution.  Anyone  who wants   information  about  the  institution  first starts with her by virtue of being the  receptionist  and  if one  is  given  that  kind of  attitude,  the  client   will  go  away  thinking   that  all  members  of  staff  at  NIPA  are  rude. NIPA is too big to be destroyed by one person.

I would like to appeal to NIPA management to do something about it because the reputation on the institution is being dented.

NIPA Student, 

Gloria                  

Categorized | Letters

Comments are closed.

Our Sponsor

Jevic Japanese Auto Inspections

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.