Curiously President Edgar Lungu was a guest of the people of Katuba last week similarly touring agricultural projects.
Hichilema used the occasion of his visit to discredit government’s alleged poor agricultural policies.
Below is his statement after the tour:
This morning we conducted a site visit at some selected maize fields in Katuba constituency, Chibombo District, Central Province.
We wanted to have first hand experience of how our country’s Agriculture sector has been brought to its knees.
We sympathise with the farmers across the country and our immediate call is that we must declare a national disaster as our country’s food security is under severe threat and pressure.
We must begin identifying solutions to the looming hunger situation in our country caused by droughts and bad Agricultural policies such as the failed e-voucher system.
As we toured the maize fields, we heard how farmers have basically been swindled out of their hard earned money by the non-supply and delivery of farming inputs.
Unfortunately, the farmers have not been given farming inputs and even more worryingly the very low cost per tonne for their produce supplied to the government, should be condemned.
However, when our time in government comes, we will simply do the following; give farmers the farming inputs on time and at very affordable prices, pay the farmers for their maize produce at better price and on time. This will translate into farmers growing more and thereby reducing poverty, taking children school and positively impacting the country as a whole.
We will ensure that the Agriculture sector is viable for the growth of our country’s economic development. Currently, the Agriculture sector has been destroyed, even those tasked to inform the nation on weather patterns have failed to make proper forecasts. Those claiming leadership have been plundering public resources through corruption instead of investing key economic sectors such as Agriculture.
When in government we will run a zero tolerance policy on corruption and anyone found wanting regardless of their office will be made to pay back to our country.
God bless our country.