OVER 4,300 bags of maize are marooned at Chikombola


OVER 4,300 (50 kilogramme) bags of maize are marooned at Chikombola satellite depot in Chikankata due to lack of transport.
Transporters are shunning ferrying maize that has been bought by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from Chikombola satellite to designated sheds due to poor road network.
FRA Southern Province B regional marketing coordinator Stephen Liato said this when FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula visited the area on Saturday to check on how this year’s crop marketing exercise is progressing.
“The only truck which was ferrying maize had its rear springs [snapping, hence the] breakdown]…it has been grounded for days,”Mr Liato said.
He said the action by transporters to shun the area has affected the pace at which maize is being transported to the main depot in Mazabuka
Mr Liato said arrangements are being made to engage other transporters to ferry maize from Chikombola satellite depot, which is about 104 kilometres from Chikankata turn-off.
“We are trying to get another transporter when he finishes the running contract with Kapinga Enterprise. He is agreeable to ferry maize,” he said.
As a result of transporters’ action, over 4,300 x 50 kilogramme bags of maize are marooned at Chikombola satellite depot thereby raising fears that it may not be transported to a safer place by the onset of the rains.
Meanwhile, Mr Kafwabulula said it is unfortunate that transporters are shunning the area when there is a lot of maize that could go to waste because of the poor road.
He said this is a blow to the agency because it depends on transporters to ferry maize to safer places.
“There is plenty of maize here, it is a high maize producing area, from the look of things, but the problem is that road network is extremely bad. All the possible transporters are shunning this place,” he said.
He said FRA will persuade them to rescind their stance so that the agency’s strategy on securing maize on time is not affected.
Mr Kafwabulula also expressed concern that once it starts raining, the place will be cut off but he was positive that the agency will ensure that maize is transported to safer places on time.