The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) owes farmers in Kawambwa District K3 billion for about 45,000 x 50 kilogramme bags of white maize that have so far been bought in the district.

Senior Agriculture Officer (SAO), Samson Chipeta disclosed the development to ZANIS in an interview in Kawambwa yesterday.

Mr Chipeta said FRA has only paid K 77 million to 12 farmers since the maize marketing exercise began in July this year.

He said the amount of money paid to farmers is equivalent to about 1,200 x 50 kg bags of white maize.

He said because of the delay to release enough funds, many farmers in the area have started storming his office to air their grievances.

Mr Chipeta said the situation is worrying because agriculture is an income for the farmers and they need to be paid on time to ease their sufferings.

Meanwhile, Mr Chipeta has complained at the delay by the transporters to deliver maize from satellite depots to the main depot.

He said his office carried out a survey yesterday and discovered that there is a lot of maize not yet collected at various satellite depots in the district because of the transporters’ slow pace.

And main depot manager, Michael Nonde also confirmed to ZANIS in a separate interview that farmers have not been paid their money up to now and urged them to be patient.

Mr Nonde also said there is slow pace of maize collection from satellite depots in the area because there are few trucks.

He said there is need to increase the number of trucks especially bigger ones to speed up the process and to enhance the marketing exercise.

[ ZANIS ]

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