Government refutes maize damage

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–Government has dismissed media statements that 2, 983 x 50 kg bags of maize harvested during the 2012-2013 marketing season have been damaged in Mkushi district.

Reacting to media statements that stacks of maize have been damaged in Mkushi district due to negligence, Mkushi District Commissioner, Christopher Chibuye, said it is not true that the yield harvested during the last season has been damaged.

Mr Chibuye, however, said the maize in question was harvested during the 2011/2012 marketing season and only a fraction of it, which was underneath, is rotten.

He said this is a result of the exceeding capacity which came as a result of the bumper harvest experienced during that season.

The DC stated that the total target for the district was 800, 000 x 50 kg bags of maize but the district produced over 1, 140, 000 x 50 kg bags of maize which was way beyond the storage capacity of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) sheds.

Mr Chibuye has since advised the media to get authentic information to avoid misleading the public.

Meanwhile, FRA Marketing Assistant for Mkushi District, Ferdinand Munyumbwe, has distanced himself from the statements attributed to him.

Mr Munyumbwe said he never at any time gave an interview to the media over the rotten maize.

He clarified that the Ministry of Agriculture has ordered the destruction of the 2, 983 x 50 kg bags of maize that got damaged during the 2011/2012 farming season as a result of the exceeding storage capacity resulting into moisturising of bags that were beneath the stack.

Mr Munyumbwe, however, said such damages are normal and are usually experienced when there is a spill over of moisture and rains and should never be deemed as negligence.