FRA still struggling to pay farmers

fra1The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Zambia’s Eastern province owes farmers and institutions a total sum of KR2,5million for the maize sold to the agency during the 2012/2013 crop purchasing season.
Provincial Agricultural Coordinator in the Ministry of Agricultural and Livestock Obvious Kabinda disclosed this  in Chipata today.
Kabinda said out of the total sum KR678, 105 owed to famers and KR1, 733,615 was owed to different institutions who sold maize to FRA.
He said among the institutions owed were the Zambia Prisons Services and Zambia National Service in the districts of Katete, Nyimba, Lundazi, Petauke, and Chadiza respectively.
Kabinda however said the ministry of agriculture would settle all the arrears owed to famers and institutions who sold maize to FRA before the end of the week.
Kabinda has also expressed disappointment with companies supplying farming inputs to farmers for unnecessary closures.
He said the closure of Omnia which closed three times and the closure of the sheds for Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia in Chipata district by the landlords had delayed the distribution exercise of farming inputs in the province.
Owners of the sheds used by Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia closed the sheds on 11th January, 2013 up to date due to unsettled rentals by government.
He said the ministry of agriculture in the province has managed to distribute 99.9 percent of farming inputs to farmers.
Dr Kabinda has also confirmed the infestation of army worms in Lundazi district which attacked four camps in Mwase farming Block.
He said the affected blocks were Mwase 1, Mwase 2, Kapichila, and Phikamalaza but the situation has been controlled and no crops have been affected with the worms.
Dr Kabinda said the province is now free from army worms as the affected areas were controlled in time.