A senior government official hasÂ expressed disappointment with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for not clearing the maize storage sheds to provide room for the purchase of this year’s produce.
Speaking in Katete when he paid a courtesy call on acting Katete District Commissioner today, Defence minister George Mpombo said the FRA sheds in the area were still filled with last year’s maize meaning that the purchasing exercise for this year’s crop cannot start immediately as recently directed by the head of state.
Mr Mpombo said the delays in the commencement of the exercise will subject farmers
to brief case buyers who exploit them.
The minister implored Katete District Commissioner to ensure that the crop marketing
exercise in Katete commences immediately to ensure that farmers get the right value
for their sweat.
And Katete District commissioner Elemiya Mwanza commended government for supporting farmers through the fertilizer support programme which ahs boosted agriculture production in the area.
Mr. Mwanza however said this year’s maize crop yield would be low due to excessive
rainsÂ experienced in the area.
He said the the situation was worsened by the outbreak of the larger grain borer, LGB, which destroyed crops in the fields.
He added that the heavy rains also caused extensive damages to roads and bridges
making it difficult for farmers to ferry their crops to marketing points.
The DC also bemoaned the lack of transport and accommodation for the police
department which has made it difficult for them to carry out patrols in the area.
In reply Mr Mpombo said government through the ministry of Home Affairs will
consider constructing a police camp in Katete to ease the problem of accommodation
among police officers.