Agriculture Minister Hon. Michael Katambo discusses cassava with Zambian Breweries director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele. Picture by Alex Mukuka.

Government has so far released K144 million out of K241 million owed to the famers who supplied Maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Minister of Agriculture, Michael Katambo said the treasury last week released K60 million to the farmers for the 2017/18 marketing season.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Katambo said the treasury is yet to release the remaining K100 million

The Minister stated that his ministry is engaging the Ministry of Finance in settling the amount on a weekly basis.

Mr. Katambo said the payments will facilitate payment to electronic-voucher for the farmers to enable them procure farming inputs like seed and fertilizer.

“Government through FRA has so far paid K144 out of the total K241m owed to the farmers. We sympathize with our farmers but my ministry is committed to dismantling the debt. The only challenge is the resource envelope from the treasury,” he said.

And Food Reserve Agency Executive Director, Chola Kafwabulula in a separate interview noted that farmers contribute to national food security.

Mr. Kafwabulula further advised the farmers to be patient as the Agency is committed to paying them.

Meanwhile, the Agency did not meet the 2017/ 2018 target of procuring 500,000 metric tons for strategic food reserves owing to farmers opting to sell their produce to other private buyers.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. When PF government issued a statement that all farmers have been paid was fake news. Quoting huge millions of Kwacha released by government is still fake news.

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  2. It’s not enough to keep stating that you are ‘committed’ to doing something – when you are already late and there is no clear indication as to when you are actually going to honour the obligation.

    I notice that the words ‘Government or the PF is committed to going this or that, have become a sing-song’, without much in terms of actualization.

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  3. Farmers need to pay for their school going children, this is January. If you can release the money in time. At school they will not understand when someone says the government hasn’t yet paid me. Please please, ba Katambo poseniko amano.

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  4. The market should be liberalized. Farmers should realize that an artificial maize price $100 below the cost of production (assuming cost of production is $220 and current FRA price of $116) negates all the benefits of FISP. Assume you grow 1ha and receive $160 in “free inputs” if you reap 2mt of maize from the hectare then you would of lost $160 because the maize price is $80-100 lower per metric ton than it otherwise would be without FRA and government interference (through dumping cheap maize on millers and banning exports). 2mt x @220 = $440. 2mt x $116 = $232. So loss because of artificial maize price is $440 – $232 = $208 loss = K2496 loss but only K1600 was gained from FISP voucher. Net loss = K800. As yields increase the losses increase.

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