Farmers storm FRA shed to withdraw maize
Luwingu, 25 November, 2014, ZANIS- Scores of farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Luwingu district have stormed the Agency’s shed in a bid to withdraw the crop following non-payment of money owed to them.
Luwingu acting District Commissioner Deodatus Munsungwe and other FRA officers had a tough time to control the unruly farmers who told them off saying they had come to withdraw their maize and not to be addressed by government officials.
Mr Munsungwe confirmed to ZANIS that he had to call police officers to control the commotion at the FRA shed yesterday.
He said that farmers demanded to withdraw their maize from the FRA shed because they felt that both government the agency had completely failed to pay their dues.
Police who rushed to FRA shed advised farmers to air grievances to FRA through ZANIS and the district administration other than attempting to destroy the shed.
The farmers later gathered at the president’s park expecting to be addressed but no one went to address them because of misconduct and insulting language which they used at the district administration office.
They openly told Mr Munsungwe that they will not participate in the January presidential by-election because they were not happy with the conduct of the ruling Patriotic front government regarding the issue of maize they supplied to FRA this year.
“We are watching you, we will not participate in the presidential by-election scheduled for January 20, 2015,” they lamented.
Meanwhile, the ministry of agriculture and livestock in Luwingu district has distributed 30 percent of agriculture inputs to various cooperative societies in the area.
Acting district agriculture coordinator (DACO) Clever Chinguta said his department is concerned that very few farmers have access to fertilizer and seed this year under the Fertilizer Input Support Program in the district adding that the major reason was the non -payment of farm produce by the FRA.
Mr Chinguta said his department has been advising farmers to consider crop diversification other than concentrating on growing maize which he said was very expensive to grow.