- Category: Comment
- Published Date
- Written by Nation Online
That an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure speaks volumes about how expensive some decisions can become and this is true for government’s decision not to label fertiliser bags under this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).
The results of this costly decision are there for all to see; an increase in the number of cases of fertiliser diversion; rampant theft of the input and sand being discovered in fertiliser bags.
What passed for sound judgment at that time has cost the Southern Region alone over K75 million worth of fertiliser which would have benefited poor farmers.
The cost of the lost fertiliser nationwide would, therefore, run into millions of kwacha, money that would have been put to better use in these trying economic times.
With only a few months before this farming season ends, saying that government will ensure that fertiliser bags are labelled in the next programme is no solace to thousands of poor farmers who have failed to access the commodity, yet they have the coupons.
This scenario would have been avoided had government done its homework on the implementation of Fisp instead of making a knee-jerk decision whose obvious repercussions are not only costly but also counterproductive.
We urge the responsible officials to draw lessons from poor decisions on Fisp so that taxpayers’ money should not be unnecessarily wasted next growing season.