A parliamentarian in Mazabuka district has observed that the poor maize marketing system has prompted many peasant farmers in Chivuna area of Magoye constituency to shift from growing maize to cannabis.
Magoye Member of Parliament, Bennie Mweemba, told ZANIS in Mazabuka today that most farmers in the constituency were involved in the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis because the market for the substance was readily available.
Mr. Mweemba, who expressed worry that farmers have resorted to growing an illegal substance, said the delay by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to pay farmers for their maize was frustrating.
He said farmers decided to start growing cannabis because, according to them, that was the surest way of raising quick money for their social and economic needs.
Mr. Mweemba however urged FRA to quickly pay the farmers for the maize they sold to the agency in order for them to stop cultivating cannabis.
” I condemn the cultivation of cannabis because it was illegal but farmers are forced to do so because they are receiving a raw deal from FRA,” he said.
Mazabuka District Commissioner, Tyson Hamaamba recently expressed worry at the increase in cannabis cultivation in Magoye and Chikankata constituencies of Mazabuka districts.
Mr. Hamaamba urged villagers to stop growing the crop because it has the potential of undermining the growth of the economy.