—–Vice President, Guy Scott has disclosed that his office under the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has in excess of 700,000 tonnes of maize meant for relief.
And Dr Scott has revealed that government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), will this year buy maize from farmers on cash basis and not on credit as it has done in the past.
Dr Scot said his office and the DMMU are ready to provide relief for people in areas across the country that will experience hunger this year.
The Vice President said this in Kapiri Mposhi today when he addressed a campaign rally at Chankomo Basic School grounds to drum up support for Patriotic Front (PF) candidate in the April 23 Kapiri Mposhi Constituency by-election.
But Dr Scott said this time around the government will be more careful in handling relief maize.
He said his office will carry out an assessment to ensure that only the targeted and affected people benefit from the relief maize.
The Vice President warned that government will not condone people to sell relief maize once they benefit from it.
“We have 700,000 tonnes of maize stocks to give to those who will experience hunger in the country but we shall be more careful this time around so that we do not give this maize to people who will later resale because government is spending a lot of money on this maize,” Dr Scott said.
And Dr Scott has revealed that government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), will this year buy maize from farmers on a cash basis and not on credit as it has done in the past.
The Vice President said the government has adequately prepared to buy maize from farmers on cash basis this year and in the following crop marketing seasons.
“We want to be buying your maize on cash basis so that we allow you to prepare for next farming season activities and not waste your time chasing payments,” Dr Scott said.
Meanwhile, Dr Scott has encouraged people in Kapiri Mposhi district and Central Province as a whole to take advantage of the good rainfall pattern in the area to produce food.
Dr Scott said the area receives normal and sufficient rainfall annually for people to engage in agricultural activities to ensure food security at household and national levels.
“Kapiri Mposhi receives well over 1000 millimetres of rains per year …. this is good rains that even if there is a drought here you can still produce crops. It is not like some areas in Southern Province”, Dr Scot said.
He said the government will also ensure timely distribution of farming inputs to farmers under the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP).
He advised farmers to belong to registered cooperatives for them to benefit from FISP.
Dr Scott is in Kapiri Mposhi where he is holding a series of rallies to campaign for PF candidate, Eddie Musonda in the fourth coming by-elections.
The opposition UNIP and UPND have fielded Francis Mwape and Lawrence Zimba respectively.