President Edgar Lungu has arrived in Eastern Province on a three days working visit.
Breeze FM staffer Martin Mwape reports that the head of state arrived at Chipata airport aboard a Zambia Airforce plane at about 09:35 hours.
And speaking upon arrival, the President said that he was not in the province for politics but to get details on challenges which have hit the e-voucher system, FISP, the Farmer Input Support Programme and crop pests.
The president also said that he wants to find out about the disappearance of 170 metric tons of maize, which was destined for Mambwe.
President Edgar Lungu says government targets to produce about 10 million metric tonnes of maize this year.
President Lungu said farmers in the country will this year produce better yields if the rainfall pattern will continue as it has started.
President Lungu says the previous two to three million metric tonnes that the country has been producing was underproductive and the country can do better.
The Head of state said this when he paid a courtesy call on Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people at his palace this morning.
President Lungu says this was the reason why he is on the ground to see what is happening in the agriculture sector in terms of input distribution and Army worms attacking crops.
And speaking earlier, Paramount Chief Mpezeni said that he was happy that the head of state came to the province to see what was happening in the distribution of farming inputs but complained over the late distribution and confusion in the e-voucher system.
The Paramount Chief says most farmers in Chipata have not yet received their fertilizer under FISP, the Farmer Input Support Program despite farmers in other districts having received the inputs.
The Traditional leader however, says his area has not been affected by army worms.
In Response the head of state says he was expecting people spearheading the electronic vulture system to reverse to the conventional one after noticing challenges in the e-voucher.
He says people should not be surprised when he starts firing workers who have failed to work especially in the distribution of government subsidised inputs.
Meanwhile President Edgar Lungu has given a two months ultimatum for the construction of Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s palace to be completed.
President Lungu who inspected the construction works at the new palace says he was not happy that works have not been completed up to now despite all the building materials being on site.
The President asked the Provincial Minister, Makhebi Zulu, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo and Luangeni Member of Parliament, Charles Zulu to ensure that the palace is completed within two months.
He said he was not happy that what is being reported about the progress on the works is not what is on the ground.
President Lungu says reports in Lusaka indicate that works at the new palace are at 80 percent completion but that is not true, adding that government workers and politicians should not only be seen to be working during campaigns.
President Lungu says he wants to find progress on the works at the new palace when he comes for the Nçwala ceremony of the Ngoni people next month.