Kaputa District Commissioner Chrispine Kachusha has ordered cooperatives to stop charging farmers K1 per bag for selling maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Mr Kachusha said it is illegal for cooperatives to be charging farmers any money under the disguise that they are using their storage sheds.
He explained that farmers do not use the sheds until the FRA buys the maize stating that it is then ceases to be the product of the farmers.
Mr. Kachusha added that storage shed which FRA is using to store maize which they buy from farmers is government property and cooperatives are only managing it on behalf of the community.
He said he will not allow cooperatives to exploit farmers and threatened to dissolve all cooperatives that will insist on charging farmers.
Mr. Kachusha said this when he held a sensitization meeting with both farmers and cooperatives officials at Kuwa Cooperatives in Katai area of Kaputa district yesterday.
The DC has also directed farmers to stop sleeping at satellite depots when they take their maize for sale to the FRA.
He said FRA will make a time table for them which they will be following to avoid congestion at depots.
Mr. Kachusha further urged the agency to start buying maize in areas where the moisture content is now 12.5 percent to avoid a last minute rush.
Earlier, Munkonge ward Councilor Jameson Musawa told the DC that farmers were complaining that cooperatives had asked them to pay K1 per bag if they want to sale their maize to FRA.
Mr. Musawa said cooperatives were even threatening not to allow FRA buy maize from farmers in the area if they failed to pay the K1 charge.
The councilor accused the cooperatives of working against government saying farmers will be thinking it was government policy to charge them stating that this was how they used to do it the previous government.