Minister order FRA to secure maize in good storage
Kapiri Mposhi, January 7, ZANIS ———– Agriculture Minister Robert Sichinga has directed the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Kapiri Mposhi to secure all the stocks of maize it procured in order to avoid wastage and thefts.
And Mr Sichinga has assured farmers in Kapiri Mposhi district that have not yet accessed fertilizer under the Fertilizer Input Support Program (FISP) that the government will soon supply them with the commodity.
Mr Sichinga ordered the FRA to transport all the maize stocks from outlying satellite depots in the district to the main depot to safeguard it from wastage and thefts.
The Minister said the government has immensely invested in the production of maize and will not condone wastage and thefts of the commodity.
The Agriculture Minister said this when he inspected the main FRA maize depot in Kapiri Mposhi yesterday.
“We don’t want maize to be exposed to rain and other conditions that can damage it so we don’t have enough storage lets communicate so that the maize which is still in satellite depots is taken elsewhere or supplied to the milers”, Mr Sichinga said.
Mr Sichinga boasted that Zambia was the only country in the region that had surplus maize which it can also supply to other neighboring countries that are experiencing deficits.
During his tour of the FRA main depot Mr Sichinga discovered that the facility which has a total capacity to hold 15,000 metric tons only had 9,742 metric tons of maize in its sheds of which 4,070 was for 2012 while the rest was procured in the 2013 crop marketing season.
Mr Sichinga advised the FRA to utilize the remaining capacity in the sheds to safeguard the maize which is still in satellite depots across the district.
And Mr Sichinga has assured farmers in Kapiri Mposhi district that have not yet accessed fertilizer under the FISP that the government will soon supply them with the commodity.
He said government has concluded all logistic arrangements with Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and Nyiombo Investments to dispatch D-compound and Urea fertilizer to the district respectively.
Only 10,998 farmers have accessed D-compound while 1,250 have obtained Urea out of the total of 23,118 registered small scale farmers eligible to receive fertilizer in the district this farming season.
Yesterday, a hoard of FISP beneficiary farmers stormed Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner’s office to complain about the delays in accessing fertilizer and demanded to be refunded their money which they deposited at various banks under the arrangement.