UPND making agriculture unprofitable – Antonio

The manner the UPND government is handling Agriculture has resulted in the sector becoming non-profitable, Patriotic Front (PF) Media Director Antonio Mourinho Mwanza has said.
Mr Mwanza said President Hakainde Hichilema was giving false statements that the government had saved US$154 million from fertiliser purchases.
He said this was not possible because the amount of fertiliser had doubled.
Mr Mwanza said some of the contracts for fertiliser distribution was given to “Friends” of Government and suppliers who had no record in distributing the commodity.
Speaking when he featured on Live Radio, Mr Mwanza said the agriculture sector had been killed because farming inputs had gone beyond the reach of many Zambians.
“If you are a farmer six bags of fertiliser gives you 40 bags of maize. Today fertiliser is K1, 200. If you were to multiply that it will give you over K7, 000. 40 bags of maize ni K150 which will give you K6, 000. They have literally made agriculture very non-profitable. Except for the commercial farmers who are very few,” he said.
And Mr Mwanza has charged that the distribution of fertiliser was a scandal.
He said it will not be surprising to see the prices of mealie meal continuing to increase because Government has no proper plan to keep the prices of goods and services at manageable levels.
“The initiative Government has taken for releasing FRA cheap maize. We have to first commend ECL for ensuring that the Hummer meals were placed. The FRA says it released 420 metric tonnes of Maize. Do they have enough to sustain us, no. There are no practical interventions the Government is putting in place,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwanza said that if the UPND was not a puppet Government, enough money would have been raised from the Mining sector.

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