Govt Commissions New Storage Shed in Chingola

THE Government has commissioned the first storage shed under the Food Reserve Agency (FRA)’s 27 slabs upgrade project with an assurance of its commitment to developing agricultural storage infrastructure countrywide.

Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wylbur Simuusa, who commissioned the upgraded hard standing slab at Chingola FRA main depot on Wednesday said the Government had set focus on upgrading storage infrastructure countrywide through a five-year investment plan.

Mr Simuusa said to address the perennial crop wastage through spoilage from elements of the weather, thefts and improper storage, Government through FRA was upgrading storage infrastructure countrywide.

The minister who cited the commissioned 5,000 tonnes capacity shed at Chingola main deport said it was for that reason that Government had seen it fundamental to include developing suitable agricultural storage facilities.

He said the project had to be done because Government had identified agriculture, as one sector that could contribute significantly to the country’s economy.

Mr Simuusa said other sheds under the project would soon be completed in Masaiti, Mpongwe, Mwinilunga, Zambezi, Nchelenge and Kawambwa.

Others are Mbala, Mpika, Mafinga, Petauke, Katete and Sinda districts.

“This will bring the additional storage of 117,000 tonnes at a total cost of K110 million,” he said.

Mr Simuusa said Government was committed to revamping and supporting the operations of the FRA to ensure reduced post harvest grain losses.

He urged FRA to continue collaborating with all stakeholders on the remaining project sites to ensure that the facilities were also handed over within reasonable time.

FRA Board chairperson Guy Robinson said depot infrastructure such as roads, fences, water, sanitation and electrical reticulation facilities were in a poor state.

Mr Robinson said there was need to address the challenges which had been highlighted to improve depot infrastructure.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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