Politicization of Agricultural inputs escalated post-election period in Zaka
Statement by COTRAD
The politicization of agricultural inputs in Zaka ward 8 has been a persistent issue in the district. Agricultural inputs, such as maize, sunflower seeds, fertilizers, and equipment, are essential for farmers to increase their productivity and ensure food security. The politicization of these inputs was influenced by political factors, such as party affiliation and loyalty.
Those who were loyal and supportive during the August election benefited from these inputs.
This has resulted in unequal access to inputs, favoritism towards certain groups or individuals, and the exclusion of those who do not align with the ruling party.
Politicization of these inputs has undermined the principles of fairness, efficiency, and productivity in agriculture in Zaka district.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the farmer said, politicization of agricultural inputs, hampers the development of the community and the agricultural sector at large. We don’t even know which criteria was being used to distribute the fertilizers, sunflower and maize seeds.
There is lack of transparency in the whole exercise and the majority who benefited from the program are those who were loyal and supporting the ruling party during the August elections.
The politicization of agriculture inputs have resulted in the creation of tensions in the community and the political leaders have been spearheading these conflict through the process of unfair distribution.
The politicization of agricultural inputs has detrimental effects on the agricultural sector and food production in this district.
A community member said, politicians should not play an active role in the distribution of agricultural inputs, the correct procedures should be followed for transparency sake.
Politicization of these inputs reduces agricultural productivity, and undermines the livelihoods of farmers. It also contributes to food insecurity, as farmers are unable to access the necessary inputs to increase their yields and improve their agricultural practices. The majority who are benefiting from these inputs are not farmers and the inputs are surfacing on the black market.
COTRAD alluded that it is crucial to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance in the distribution processes. This can be achieved through the involvement of independent organizations, monitoring mechanisms, and the active engagement of the community.
Creating a transparent and merit-based system for the allocation of agricultural inputs can help ensure that resources reach farmers based on their needs rather than political considerations.
By working together, it is possible to mitigate the politicization of agricultural inputs and ensure that assistance reaches those who need it the most.