Government roasts some banks for delaying paying farmers

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Hon. Rogers Mwewa (in white gloves)

Agriculture & Livestock Deputy Minister Rodgers Mwewa has castigated some banks for the slow pace at which they are paying farmers the monies owed to them by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).


Mr Mwewa says slow paying system by the banks is delaying the planting process as farmers are not able to buy seed in good time.


He says banks need to devise a quicker system of paying farmers to enable them purchase input under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) which are now readily available in both Northern and Luapula Provinces.


Mr Mwewa was speaking after he toured the two provinces to inspect FISP activities.


On Sunday, irate farmers that supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency in Mbala District stormed the District Commissioner’s Office demanding to paid their money.


The farmers complain that they are owed over eight point nine billion kwacha.


And when contacted for a comment on last Friday, FRA Chief Executive Officer Chola Kafwabulula told ZNBC news that he would issue a comprehensive report of payments to farmers this week.


Meanwhile Government says the transportation of top dressing fertilizer from Tanzania by trucks has started.


Agriculture Deputy Minister Rodgers Mwewa is confident that farmers will receive the fertiliser in good time for this farming season.


Mr Mwewa has confirmed to ZNBC News in a telephone that the thirty trucks out of the 200 trucks hired by government started off on Sunday from the port of Dar E-salam in Tanzania.


And Mr Mwewa says the distribution of D Compound fertilser and seed commenced on Monday to create space for the coming consignment of Urea.