CONCERNS OVER CONSUMPTION OF FISP MAIZE SEED RISE IN LUNDAZI DUE TO HUNGER.
LUNDAZI. 5th December 2023.
A distressing situation has emerged in Lundazi, where the scarcity of food has forced some individuals to resort to consuming maize seeds intended for planting through the government’s Farmer Input Support Program (FISP). Lundazi District Agricultural Coordinator (DACO), Edward Hacuundu, has expressed deep concern about this alarming trend, indicating that the FISP seeds are unfit for human consumption as they are treated with chemicals.
Cooperative leaders suspected of colluding with agro traders have been re-packaging and selling FISP inputs meant for the upcoming 2023/24 planting season. This unethical and unlawful practice endangers the community of Lundazi, as individuals who unknowingly consume these chemically treated seeds could face health risks.
Mr Hacuundu emphasizes that the government’s FISP initiative aims to provide support to vulnerable farmers, enabling them to enhance agricultural productivity and food security. This essential program must remain intact and undisturbed by the actions of a few selfish individuals.
Although the exact number of stolen and re-bagged bags of FISP seeds is yet to be determined, Mr Hacuundu assures the public that his team, in collaboration with investigative bodies, is actively working to apprehend all those involved in this nefarious activity. The Ministry of Agriculture in the district will not tolerate such malicious behaviour, and all culprits will face the full force of the law.
Given the potential health risks associated with consuming chemically treated seeds, it is vital to raise awareness within the Lundazi community. Residents must be informed about the dangers posed by these seeds to their health and well-being. Additionally, alternative measures should be explored to alleviate hunger and ensure the availability of safe food sources for the affected population.
To address the issue comprehensively, the government, local authorities, and agricultural stakeholders need to collaborate closely. Such collaboration would serve to strengthen oversight mechanisms, improve monitoring and evaluation processes, and establish stricter regulations to prevent the misappropriation of FISP inputs in the future.
The distressing situation in Lundazi, where hunger has driven individuals to consume FISP maize seeds intended for planting, calls for immediate action. The government, along with relevant authorities, must work diligently to identify and apprehend those responsible and ensure the safety and security of the community. Long-term solutions, such as improving food security measures and fostering sustainable agricultural practices, should be implemented to address the underlying causes of hunger in the region.
Credit: Kenele 97.7FM