Farmer’s Cooperative Union in Livingstone has expressed excitement with government’s release of K400 million towards payment of famers who are owed by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Union Chairperson for Livingstone and Kazungula districts, Rwinick Mapanza told Radio Musi O Tunya News that the gesture will encourage farmers as they prepare for the 2017/18 season.
He adds that the payment will also enable farmers who were not captured on FISP through the e-voucher system to buy the required implements.
Mr. Mapanza however indicated that Livingstone had not been affected by the delay by FRA to pay farmers because they had sold their maize to breweries.
He states that Kazungula farmers were the most affected, adding that they heavily depended on FRA to pay them in order to buy farming inputs for this farming season.
Mr. Mapanza has further urged government to stop issuing part payment but release all funds at once; saying farmers were already late in their preparations.
Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya on Tuesday told parliament that the ministry of finance released K400 million towards the payment of farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency during the 2017 marketing season.
She says the latest disbursement of funds by the ministry of finance leaves a balance of K117 million which is expected to be paid to farmers in the next few days.