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Thursday, July 9, 2020

50,000 bags of maize worth K3.2 billion rot

Economy 50,000 bags of maize worth K3.2 billion rot

OVER 50,000 x 50 kilogramme bags of maize worth K3.2 billion have gone to waste at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Nkandazovu satellite depot in Kalomo because of poor storage.

And more than 200,000 bags of maize, which were bought from farmers during the last two crop marketing seasons have been marooned at the depot because of bad storage facilities and a poor road network which makes the area inaccessible.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Luxon Kazabu and Kalomo District Commissioner Omar Munsanje confirmed the development in separate interviews in Lusaka yesterday.Mr Kazabu, who recently toured the province, learnt that trucks could not reach Nkandazovu depot to pick the maize due to the poor state of road.

“I learnt from the people who founded the satellite depot that the road is impassible and no truck could reach the area to ferry the maize from there. From what I have seen, there is no road there,” he said.

He said the office of District Commissioner, FRA officers and local farmers have agreed to relocate the depot to a place which will be more accessible, instead of closing it completely.Mr Kazabu, however, said even if the depot is relocated and the ferrying of maize is not done before the onset of the rainy season, the area will still become impassible.

And Mr Munsanje said the maize went bad because there was no proper slab where the bags could be stacked and stored.

“There is no slab at Nkandazovu satellite depot. They just put logs on the ground and stack bags of maize on them, so, moisture from the ground reached the maize and seven layers of bags of maize from the bottom were destroyed,” he said.

He said apart from the moisture from the ground, the bags of maize were also destroyed by intense heat from the sun as tarpaulins used to cover them wore out.

Mr Munsanje said the establishment of the satellite depot was not properly thought out because the area had a lot of difficulties in terms of accessibility.

Meanwhile, Mr Munsanje said as of August 24 this year, 213, 000 x 50 bags of maize were bought from the farmers during 2011-2012 maize crop marketing season.He said the district has devised a mechanism to ensure that all the maize bought from farmers is ferried to safe storage on time, to avoid wastage.
Meanwhile, the FRA Copperbelt Province Coordinator Timothy Chanda said the agency has paid K9 billion out of the K37.57 billion it owes farmers on the Copperbelt for the maize bought during this marketing season.Mr Chanda said the agency has bought 578,000x 50 kilogramme bags of maize worth K37.57 billion from farmers on the Copperbelt.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Ati bumper harvest and you can’t even keep it! Humans and animals are starving in some parts of Zambia and yet we have maize going to waste every year. Many people even in the same areas where the maize went to waste can not even have 3 meals a day! Shame on you FRA!!!!

  2. Zambians should afford 3 meals a day, and not only that, but also deserve cheaper mealie meal.

    3 Billion Kwacha worth of food is a lot to waste for a country that is among the poorest in the world. Probably our poverty is not in natural resources and food, but poverty of mind. We have, but we can’t think properly.

    With this waste, do we expect God and the donor nations to smile at us?

  3. This happens every year in Zambia somewhere and is down to the inability of the FRA to run the agency effectively. @GUNDIX you are right about the we have but can not think properly part. The FRA needs to have systems in place (or follow them if they have) that specify what qualifies an area to be designated as a satellite deport. I am positive that Nkandazovu did not not meet even the bearest minimum to start with.  

  4. Corruption, plunder, stealing , nothing else, FRA is given ample time and money but this is what this new addministration has to deal with.State house must send a team here to do on the spot invetigation, AUDIT, and lock the culprits up so this is not repeated.NO ROADS??? come with a better excuse.

  5. Give it to chief kopa in mpika. He did request for maize that was going bad sometime in March. He claimed that there was no more fish in the rivers in his chiefdom so his subjects didn’t have fish to exchange for maize. He called on the government to donate the maize that was rotting. So please let that 50 000 tonnes be donated to the people of mpika.

  6. If these figures of rotten maize in Kalomo, which will go to waste are correct, then this is a real disaster, I fail to find the right words to describe it. To put it in context, the three Kenya-bound trucks intercepted at Nakonde had 1,000 x 50kg bags = 50,000Kg = 50 Tonnes = 16.7Tonnes on each of the three Trucks. So, now the rotten maize in Kalomo is 50,000 x 50kg = 2500,000kg = 2500 Tonnes. Now, in terms of number of Trucks, how many same size trucks is that?  Answer = 150 TRUCKS!! (One hundred and fifty trucks!). This is a disaster of huge proportions to the entire Country. The solution is obviously to make a strong case and write a bankable business plan and access donor funds to build proper storage facilities and an all weather road. 

  7. Our maize output is usually normal or above normal year in, year out, but the storage methodology has being bad since 1986 [about 30 years ago] when I saw huge stack of rotten maize at Kasama depot. Kasama depot was just few a kilometers to the TAZARA station for cheaper and easier haulage for export or to urban areas. Still we are experiencing the same problems, but using different political language to justify the rotting our sample grains. Each and every year there no tarpaulins and if they are available, then they are damaged ones
    All our politicians want donors’ funds [dollar] when these dollars are in forms of maize grains by exporting first to our neighbours, secondly and locally World Food Programme

  8. Its a big shame on the nation. Citizens have toiled and the produce been realized in huge quantities. If there are no better storage facilities, why produce more than we can safely store.
    Talking of bad roads to the areas, Z govt under PF please make better roads to those areas. Also open doors and let what cannot be properly stored be bought by outsiders to be used in hunger stricken countries.

  9. Its sin in the sight of the almighty God. PF govt switch on so that such situations are not repeated in the future.

  10. When people say this pf govnt is not serious, some think people are undermining the sata admin. What is this when there are some places in Zambia where people need maize badly for their day to day food. God forbid coz there’s alot of hypocrisy and cheating in this govnt. They are busy with politicking instead of adressing priority issues. Tinakamba , kodi kugawa ma province na ma District ndiye coyamba kuchita ngati boma, when maize is rotting somewhere?

    Malabish !!!!!! Where are the DCs, PS, provincial ministers ETC, if maize can rot like that. Iam annoyed………*****s.

  11. Something amiss. where is the roads department that used to oversee feeder roads constraction and rehabilitation??

  12. We should stop the stupid and costly thing of feeder roads and upgrade them to well developed and permanent tarmac roads.
    Why are we not proud to have improved and beautiful infrastructure for our own country?
    Look at this loss. I hope the farmers will not be inconvenienced when it comes to payments because they have played their role.

  13. In my small pal’s blogging they’ve already additional people for their weblog shoots, although my own at all times is placed at the end within the record and does not record as i post prefer it really does for others. Is slideshow placing that I must shift or perhaps slideshow pick that they’ve constructed?

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