HH accuses government of destroying agriculture sector

The United Party for National Development UPND says the Patriotic Front PF Party has destroyed the agriculture sector with its alleged corrupt ways of leadership.

UPND President Hakainde Hichilema says that the Patriotic Front government has completely ignored the plight of the people by destroying the agriculture sector in the country.

Mr. Hichilema says vulnerable farmers are being exploited through the introduction of systems that are not benefiting the farmers, citing the E-voucher system as a major cause of the delayed distribution of farm inputs.

He also noted that farmers are not benefiting from any of these systems, adding that the reduction in the market floor price for the 2016 -2017 farming season was a mockery to the farmers.

He says UPND has a strong policy framework and will strive hard to reinstate the Agriculture sector in the country, by replacing the E-voucher system with efficient systems that will ensure viability of farmers in the country.

Mr. Hichilema was speaking during a card renewal exercise held at Mpezeni Park Square in Chipata yesterday.

PS Kasolo apologises to farmers over challenges in e-voucher

Government says that it is aware of some of the challenges the Electronic voucher system has faced this year, and promises that the system will be improved.

Speaking during a press briefing held in Chipata district yesterday, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that it is a pity that some politicians are trying to use the challenges government has faced in implementing the E-voucher to accuse government of having failed Zambians.

He says that it is true that the E-voucher system has had some challenges because while most farmers have received their farming inputs, some farmers have not yet received their inputs.

Mr. Kasolo says that this is because the E-voucher system is a new program, which has not yet been perfected by government.

He says that those that are objective will admit that the system has closed a lot of loopholes that existed in the old system.

Mr. Kasolo says farmers now have more control over where and how they want to get their inputs without unscrupulous people taking advantage of them.

The Permanent secretary apologized on behalf of government to the affected farmers over the hiccups faced in the E-voucher system this season.

He promised farmers that the system will be better next year stating that farming inputs will be distributed on time.

Street vending in Mfuwe a danger to tourism

Alleged street vending in the Cropping area of Mambwe district is reported to be posing a health hazard to tourism activities in the area.

Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary Zephaniah Kaleya says that it is unfortunate that numbers of street vendors trading next to the national park is slowly increasing.

Mr. Kaleya told Breeze News that the area where vendors have gone back to trade from, has no water, toilets and electricity, a situation he says is hazardous and vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

He says with the help of the recently signed statutory instrument on street vending, there is urgent need for the local authority to intervene before business in the tourism sector is disturbed.

Mr. Kaleya expressed concern that if the situation is left to reach the extent of a disease outbreak, it may lead to closure of most lodges near Cropping area, which might as well lead to most people becoming jobless.