FRA buys 3 million bags of maize

From HOPE NYOKA in Chipata
THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has so far bought three million bags of maize worth K210 million from farmers in Eastern Province in the ongoing marketing season.
Acting provincial agriculture and Livestock coordinator Kennedy Kanenga has further disclosed that as of July 21, this year, over K2.4 million was disbursed to commercial banks in five districts to pay farmers who had sold the grain to the agency.
Mr Kanenga said in an interview and named the five districts as Chipata, Chama, Vubwi, Mambwe and Lundazi.
“We bought three million by 50 kilogrammes bags of maize two weeks ago and the farmers are still being paid their money,” Mr Kanenga said.
He said more farmers are anticipated to deliver maize to the agency before the close of the marketing season.
Mr Kanenga assured farmers who have supplied maize to the agency that they will be paid their dues before the close of the exercise.
Meanwhile, NKOMBO KACHEMBA reports that the FRA in Northern Province has procured 113,000 metric tonnes of maize worth K158 million.
Provincial  agriculture coordinator Andrew Banda, said that the crop-marketing exercise is progressing well and that the farmers are still delivering the grain to various depots in the province.
“This year’s crop marketing exercise is impressive and as a province, we have bought 113,000 metric tonnes of maize from the farmers. This figure is quite impressive,” Mr Banda said.
He said all the satellite depots in the province have been secured with tents to prevent damage to the grain during the rainy season.
Mr Banda further disclosed that farmers that delivered maize to the agency are receiving payment through the various financial institutions.
He said Government is working tirelessly to ensure farmers receive their payment in time to enable them prepare for the next farming season.

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