FORMER agriculture and livestock deputy minister Lackson Kazabu says the country’s agricultural system is in a mess.
And Kazabu says he fears for this year’s crop harvest.
In an interview, Kazabu said the E-Voucher system was adversely affecting rural farmers.
He said the E-voucher system could not work in a country that had no stable telecommunication services in rural areas.
“At the time I was in government, we had a discussion over the implementation of the E-Voucher system. I was one of those that raised the issues that the system has a lot of obstacles that is how we did not implement it then,” Kazabu said.
“One of the issues that was raised over the E-Voucher system was that how a farmer in rural Zambia where there was no electronic system get the benefits of the system. This system is adversely affecting farmers in rural areas.”
He said most of the agro dealers were not connected to the electronic system and were not conversant with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.
“There is so much mess in the agriculture sector and I fear for the harvest levels. I don’t know what the harvest will be like,” Kazabu said.
He added that most farmers had cultivated maize while still holding on to the 2017 harvest.
Kazabu said a lot of farmers could not sell their maize at the price offered by the government (K65 per bag).