300 tonnes of rice go to waste

From KALONDE NYATI in Mungwi
ABOUT 300 tonnes of rice has gone to waste in Mungwi’s Chambeshi area due to poor roads to transport the cereal to the markets.
Mungwi district commissioner Joyce Chanda who disclosed the development in an interview recently, said only 400 tonnes of rice was sold, out of the 700 tonnes grown by small-scale farmers in the area.
Ms Chanda said Mungwi had the potential to produce enough rice to feed the country, but poor roads were hampering farming activities in the area.
“There are many rice farmers in Chambeshi and the area has abundant water to support rice production which can uplift people’s livelihoods. Access to markets is key in developing the rice industry in the area,” she said.
She said SNV, a Netherlands non-profit development organisation, was currently providing improved rice seed variety to Chambeshi farmers to increase yields and improve crop quality but the initiative would only be meaningful if farmers had easy access to markets.
SNV is also involved in water, sanitation and renewable energy projects.
Ms Chanda said Government should construct roads and bridges in the area to boost rice production and subsequently reduce poverty.
She also called on the Food Reserve Agency to buy rice from Chambeshi farmers to avoid wastage.

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