By Moses Kuwema
Senior Chief Nsokolo of the Mambwe people in Mbala District says farmers in the area are demanding to be given back the maize currently stockpiled at the local Food Reserve Agency depot so that they sell it elsewhere.
In a statement by the Chief’s secretary for press and public relations Jeff Kapembwa, Chief Nsokolo stated that the farmers wanted to avoid losing out on their money.
Chief Nsokolo stated that of the 98 percent of farmers that supplied maize for sale to FRA, only five percent had been paid while the rest have not been advised when payments would be ready.
“The unexpected rainfall recorded in most parts of the district has compounded the situation forcing farmers to demand that they either be paid immediately or have their maize supplied to FRA given back to them for either export or sell to other interested parties,” Chief Nsokolo stated.
“Some named opposition political officials have taken advantage of the desperate situation and are going round the affected farmers, urging them to ‘divert’ their energies from maize growing and instead grow cassava and millet during the coming season and avoid losing out.”
He stated that he was saddened at reports suggesting that FRA local office had run-out of money to pay about 4000 local farmers for the grain they supplied.
Chief Nsokolol urged the government and the leadership in Mbala to seek and urgent solution to the problem before the on-set of the coming farming season.
Courtesy: Post Newspaper Wednesday, 26 September 2012