THE Zambia National Farmers’ Union has expressed concern with the reported delays in finalizing the procurement processes for the 2022 Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) fertilisers.
Union president Jervis Zimba has told Mwebantu that most small-scale farmers depend on FISP for farming inputs hence the development is a blow and could spell doom on a sector that is still grappling with the climate change after effects following prolonged dry spells experienced last season.
“The fact is rains are just around the corner in some parts of the country and any further delay and lack of clear direction on fertilizer availability will adversely impact on production and productivity for the 2022/2023 farming season.This will lead to diminishing income opportunities, food insecurity and stagnation in the poverty trap for most farmers,” he said.
Mr Zimba has appealed to Government to step up and realize that the consequences will be catastrophic for farmers.
He said the state-of-affairs could have been avoided if the roadmap agreed in April was adhered to because back then, the recommendation by the private sector was that the processes be concluded by June 2022.
“We cannot understand the on-going inertia and farmers are asking! What is the alternative? We urge the Minister of Agriculture to address the farmers on the Fertilizer Procurement developments,” Mr Zimba said.
He called on President Hichilema to set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to handle the issue of the 2022 FISP fertilizer and Seed availability, harness united efforts and coordinate timely delivery.
“In our view, the current FISP mess will require the intervention of the Head of State, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, to instill hope and certainty in the minds of farmers as the twists and turns playing out in the public domain makes it difficult to discern the facts,” Mr Zimba said.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 22nd September, 2022)
More Value and Great Content for GOtv Customers as they get New Channels!
Multichoice has added new channels on GOtv platform to create more value to customers and deliver thrilling local and international content. Customers are now able to watch exciting new content on brand new channels on their different packages on the GOtv platform.
The newly added channels on the GOtv platform include TLC, Me and Nick toons on the GOtv Supa Package and Moja 9.9 on the GOtv Plus package.
Speaking about the new channels on GOtv, Leah Kooma, Managing Director, MultiChoice Zambia said: “We are so excited about the GOtv launch of the new channels because it speaks about value delivery to our customers through content and how much there is to enjoy on our GOtv platform”.
With the launch of the new channels on GOtv, MultiChoice is assuring customers that there is something for everyone and that there is no dull moment on the GOtv platform. The GOtv platform offers customers access to popular and fantastic content at the lowest prices. From as low as K30 customers can access local channels like ZNBC, Diamond TV, Prime TV, and a lot more on the GOtv Lite package.
“Through the launch of the new channels on GOtv, we are thrilling customers with exciting local and international content, this is our commitment to continue delivering the best video entertainment experience,” remarked Kooma.
Besides the new channels that will start running on GOtv as of 3rd October 2022, MultiChoice also recently added other new channels on GOtv including Movie Room on the GOtv Supa and GOtv Max packages. Novela Magic and One Zed were added on the GOtv Value package.
(Mwebantu, Monday, 3rd October, 2022)
Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane unveils a K167.3 billion 2023 national budget
THE New Dawn Administration has unveiled its 2023 national budget which will be funded from both external and internal sources such as grants, loans and revenue through tax collections.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday afternoon, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said Zambia will not fail but will take inspiration from countries which were poor, but have upgraded to first class.
Dr Musokotwane has since announced that Zambia is now back in business to ensure that the country attains development.
He said the New Dawn Government has laid a stable condition foundation to facilitate growth of the country.
Dr Musokotwane announced that to compliment the already recruited health personnel and teachers, government will next year also recruit 4,500 teachers and 3,000 health personnel.
He also announced that government will also among other developmental programs reintroduce meal allowances for university students on bursary.
Dr Musokotwane further rubbished social media claims that government will remove Farmers Input Support Program (FISP,) because of the implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stating that infact the program will instead be refined to give way to better targets for farmers.
He further bragged that government has secured USD$300 million from the World Bank to develop farm blocks around the country.
“Let me make it clear that we are borrowing this money on soft terms and it will help create more jobs, diversification and value addition and not borrowing this money to buy fire tenders,” he said on a lighter note.
Dr Musokotwane further said there will be no loadshedding because the aspiration of government is to provide electricity for all.
He also reiterated that government is working on strategic road networks for a better country and that roads such as Lusaka-Ndola dual carriage, Chingola-Solwezi road and the Ndola-Mufulira road would be worked on using the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 1st October, 2022)
Fuel prices increase
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has adjusted upward the pump prices of petroleum products by K1.20 per litre for petrol and K3.04 per litre for diesel.
The price of Kerosene has been adjusted downward by K0.65 per litre.
Speaking a media briefing, ERB Board Chairperson Reynolds Bowa also announced that board has commenced the full regulation of the retail price of Jet A-1 at airports and shall going forward determine applicable prices on a monthly basis.
“Therefore, the regulated Jet A-1 price, which is called the Posted Airfield Price (PAP), has been set at K20.69/litre for the month of October 2022. The regulation of Jet A-1 prices has been necessitated by the need to attain regional competitiveness,” Mr Bowa said.
He said the changes in pump prices and the posted airfield price are due to trends in the global petroleum prices and the exchange rate of the United States Dollar to the Zambian Kwacha in the period between the last and the current price review.
“Specifically, international oil prices continued to decline due to the global slowdown on consumption. This is amid concerns of inflationary pressures worldwide, anticipated slowdown of global economic growth and continued fears of a global recession.
Further,during the review period, the Zambian Kwacha continued to appreciate mainly due to increased supply of foreign exchange on the market on the backdrop of the continued positive market sentiments following the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package in August 2022. Since the last price review in August, the Kwacha appreciated, month-on-month by 3.23%, from an average of K16.12/US$ to K15.60/US$.
In September 2022, Government issued Statutory Instruments (SI), No. 59 on Value Added Tax(VAT) and No.44 of 2022 on Customs and Excise Duty, in order to restore taxes on petroleum products which were revised in January 2021. The taxes which have been restored are excise duty and VAT,” Mr Bowa said.
He said consequent to the SIs,the Government has restored excise duty from K0.64/litre to K2.07/litre while VAT has been restored from 0% to 16% on petrol.
Mr Bowa said on diesel, the Government has restored excise duty from KO/litre to K0.66/litre while VAT has been restored from 0% to 16%. Like before, no taxes have been levied on kerosene and Jet A-1.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 30th September, 2022)