Nothing new in Budget —ZNFU
Published On October 16, 2014 » 1886 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Business, Stories
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. Nguleka

. Nguleka

By KENNEDY MUPESENI? –
THE Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has described the 2015 Budget?as “a business as usual budget” on its provisions for the agricultural sector.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda allocated K1.1 billion to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), K255 million for E-voucher, while K993 million was earmarked for strategic reserve.
But the ZNFU president Evelyn Nguleka said apart from the reduction in the cost of  the import duty on imported refined oil from 80 ngwee to K2.20 per Kilogramme, the Budget’s focus reflects doing more of the same.
“If requested to pass a verdict on the 2015 Budget, our assessment is that it is a ‘business as usual Budget’ in as far as the agricultural sector is concerned,” Dr Nguleka said.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 109th ZNFU Annual Congress in Lusaka on Wednesday, she said the Budget had failed to meet the expectation of the farmers as submitted.
Dr Nguleka, who has been re-elected as president for the second term, said farmers have continued experiencing, added that Government should address high interest rates, electricity and labour in the country if the sector was to produce desired results.
“It is amazing that Government has turned a blind eye by allowing interest rates to go up as high as 24 per cent,” She said.
In response, Vice President Guy Scott who officiated at the closing ceremony said farmers should not continue mourning but find common solutions to move forward.
“Farmers at every level face different challenges which require unique approach to increase production and market. This requires the country which required radical changes to put things right to move forward.?He urged farmers to explore the local market before exploring export markets.
“Do not rush to export market before exploring the local, because some products fetch more when you sell within the country,” he said.

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