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.