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GOVERNMENT should expedite distribution of agricultural inputs to avoid a negative effect on the agricultural sector performance, the Centre for Trade policy and Development (CTPD) has said.

CTPD Head of Programmes and Research Brian Chiko Mwiinga said government should give the process the attention it deserved.

He said this in a statement issued in Lusaka.

Mr Mwiinga said CTPD feared that there could be challenges in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and e-voucher system this year.

“Going by the 22nd Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (sarcof) held in Lusaka, Zambia from August 22-24, it was revealed that the rainy season in most of SADC countries which includes Zambia would start around October 2018 to March 2019,” he said.

Mr Mwiinga appealed to government to update the nation on the FISP.

“We therefore wish to also remind the Minister of Agriculture that agriculture is the main source of livelihood for majority of our people especially in the rural areas.

“It is also a major contributor to the country’s GDP and by far offers the best opportunities for the government’s diversification agenda and poverty reduction efforts,” Mr Mwiinga said.

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