The opposition UPND and MMD have advised government against bowing to pressure which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is allegedly exerting on it to abolish agricultural subsidies.
The IMF is urging the Zambian government to consider abolishing subsidized agricultural inputs owing to the high costs it is incurring.
Committee chairperson on agriculture request muntanga who is UPND kalomo central Member of Parliament says the IMF should stop championing policies that threaten food security among the poor people but should instead promote easy market for subsidized western agricultural produce in Zambia.
Mr. muntanga says world over countries have such programmes in place and if the advise given by the IMF is followed farmers will be left to starve with hunger more especially that challenges such as the cotton price are already manifesting.
Mr. muntanga has questioned whose interest the IMF is saving by advising Zambia to do the opposite of what other countries who have succeeded are doing.
And MMD chairperson for elections Gabriel Namulambe has explained that agricultural subsidies were important for the country to continue enjoying food security at both household and national level.
Mr. Namulambe says the three previous consecutive maize bumper harvests were as a result of government’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) through which government has been providing subsidized agricultural inputs to small scale farmers.
Mr. namulambe who is also MMD mongwe member of parliament says if abolished, government should then forget about eradicating poverty among the vulnerable but viable people which is at alarming levels.
The parliamentarian has however commended Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Emmanuel Chenda for assuring the nation that government has no intentions of abolishing the facility that benefits the majority of the rural people