KELVIN CHONGO, Parliament
LUPOSOSHI member of Parliament (MP) Chungu Bwalya (PF) says subsidising the production of maize as opposed to consumption is a welcome
initiative by Government.
He, however, says while Government is subsidising maize production and farmers are being encouraged to produce as much as they can, Government is unable to buy all the produce.
Mr Bwalya told Parliament on Thursday that this is because the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) budget is not adequate to buy all the maize.
He was contributing to debate on the report of the parliamentary committee on estimates on the performance of selected ministries, provinces and spending agencies in the first quarter of this year.
Mr Bwalya said this must be revisited by allowing FRA to deal with rural farmers and let those along the line of rail find their own buyers.
He said the people in his constituency are vulnerable because the feeder roads are in a dilapidated state.
“What do I do as an MP, where do I run to? If I go to FRA, Iam being told that it’s me who passed the budget,” he said.
Mr Bwalya also appealed to Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya to ensure that FRA concentrates on buying maize from rural areas of the country where farmers cannot find their own markets.
He also said FRA should close all its depots along the line of rail to enable it concentrate on rural areas where it should open more such facilities.
“We are the ones who told the farmers to produce more and now we are saying they should find their own market when it’s us MPs who encouraged them to work hard. Let’s help these vulnerable people,” he said.