GOVERNMENT has paid out a total of K74, 349,245 to all farmers in North-Western Province who sold their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in the 2016 crop marketing season.
North-Western Province permanent secretary Ephraim Mateyo announced this at a media briefing held at his office in Solwezi yesterday.
Mr Mateyo said the FRA bought a total of 874, 697 by 50-kilogramme bags of white maize from small-scale farmers in the province in the last crop marketing season.
“I am glad to report that as we stand in the province, all is done. Government has so far paid K74, 349, 245 to farmers in Chavuma, Kabompo, Kasempa, Mufumbwe, Mwinilunga, Zambezi and Solwezi. So we don’t have any credit at all, we are at minus zero and that tension with farmers has died out,” he said.
Mr Mateyo thanked Government for working tirelessly to ensure that farmers in the province are paid their money on time.
“As you are aware, the farmers used to come here making unnecessary demands due to political influence, but you see as Government, we remained steadfast and we owe no one any Kwacha at all,” he said.
And Mr Mateyo said the distribution of the 13,550 e-voucher cards to farmers in Solwezi is progressing well while e-voucher cards for farmers in Mwinilunga district have been dispatched to the area.
He, however, said farmers in Mwinilunga experienced challenges in accessing farming inputs using the e-voucher cards but that the problem has been resolved.
“Mwinilunga had a slight problem because it is Barclays Bank that was given the mandate to work with farmers. Now an agreement has been reached that there will be a mobile team so that the e-voucher system starts almost immediately,” Mr Mateyo said.
Mr Mateyo said the province has received adequate seed and about 97 percent of D compound fertiliser from Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) for the 2016/2017 farming season.
He said the province has received over 40 percent of top dressing fertiliser from Nyiombo Investment and that distribution of farming inputs to farmers in all the districts is underway.