FRA Exceeds Maize Purchase Target in Mkushi

THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Mkushi District of Central Province have purchased 400,000 bags of maize from farmers exceeding the targeted 250,000.

Some farmers, however, who sold maize in June have complained of delays by the agency to pay them and feared that the much talked about bumper harvest would not be recorded if farming inputs were not purchased on time.

Mkushi District Commissioner Luke Mwamba who was speaking to a group of journalist who were in the area explained that the agency had planned to purchase only 250,000 bags of maize from farmers but as at last week had purchased 400,000 bags and that the purchase would continue.

Mr Mwamba said the district last Friday received 40,000 grain bags which would be distributed to farmers, some of whom have spent over two weeks waiting for the bags.

He said he was happy with the response received from farmers which was a sign of the trust people have in its Government and reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that farmers who have not received their money are paid.

“I can confirm that so far, we have purchased 400,000 bags which is above the targeted bags of maize the agency was planning to buy and we will not continue to buy the maize from our hardworking farmers,” he said.

He further commended the farmers for deciding to sale the maize to FRA than selling to briefcase farmers.

And some farmers found at Bombwe depot said they were happy that the Government maintained the maize price but asked the agency to improve on the payment mode so as to allow them purchase the inputs on time.

And Edgar Mulibandule said he sold 704 bags of maize to the agency on June 22, but has not been paid to date.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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