HOME Affairs Minister Hon Stephen Kampyongo has warned against the Smuggling of Maize from the Northern Province into the Neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other destinations.
The Minister sounded his warning when he made an unexpected stop over at Senga Hill enroute to Kasama district .
Hon Kampyongo said that it was disheartening that some unscrupulous Zambians have opted to work with foreign nationals in an escapade to buy off maize grain from individual farmers and export it to neighboring countries.
Hon Kampyongo who was flanked by Northen Province Minister Hon Bwalya Chungu and Northern Province Police Commissioner Richard Mweene directed that Police Command in the province take charge and ensure that they bring the culprits to book.
He advised farmers who benefited from the FISP programme to prioritize selling their maize grain to the Food Reserve Agency FRA who will in turn roll out the maize to other buyers local or foreign.
“And we are urging our dear farmers to endeavor to sale their maize to the Food Reserve Agency FRA who are actually buying this maize on cash basis seeing as government spends huge amounts of money each year to procure farming inputs for the farmers and so it is only prudent that government through the FRA assume priority when it comes to buying the maize from your our dear farmers” Hon Kampyongo said.
Meanwhile Northern Province Minister Hon Chungu Bwalya has urged FRA staff in the area to increase the pace at which they are buying and packaging the maize grain from the locals.
The Provincial Minister assured the staff found at the FRA deport in Senga Hill who complained of luck of manpower that he was going to dispatch a supplementary team from the province on Monday.
The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is this year buying maize from Farmers on cash basis as announced by the Minister of Agriculture Micheal Katambo at the opening of this years’ maize marketing season.