Kasama farmers angered by FRA delay to open market

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—-The delay by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to kick-start the maize buying season has angered farmers in Kasama.

The visibly annoyed farmers, who stormed ZANIS offices, complained that the FRA has not heeded to government announcement to start buying maize on July 1, 2014.

Group spokesperson, Alfred Chanda, said farmers were disappointed as the delay is likely to impact negatively on their planning for the 2014/2015 farming season.

Mr Chanda noted that the farm inputs for the next season were already in the district hence the need for them to sell the maize and pay for the inputs.

He reviewed that farmers were now panicking because they there was no official communication as to why the FRA has delayed.

Mr Chanda appealed to authorities to quickly intervene in the matter before unscrupulous trader’s take advantage of the situation to buy the grain at low prices.

And Mercy Nawelwa, 67, has appealed to government to rescind the earlier decision to reduce on the satellite depots in the district.

Ms Nawelwe charged that government should instead consider increasing the already existing number in order to make farming an attractive business venture.

But when contacted for a comment, FRA Regional Coordinator, Martin Mangenda, hoped that the buying would start mid-July because the moisture content was still very high.

Mr Mangenda said the FRA is still monitoring the moisture levels, adding that immediately it lowers the buying will commence.

He appealed to farmers to remain calm.