FRA advised to strategize crop marketing

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—Kawambwa District Commissioner, Ivo Mpasa, has called on the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to put in place systems and strategies that will ensure the smooth running of the crop marketing season in the area.

Mr Mpasa says there is need for the FRA and the marketing committees in the area to ensure that delays during the crop purchasing exercise are not experienced.

The Kawambwa DC has also said there is need to ensure that the FRA pays farmers on a first come first serve basis.

ZANIS reports that Mr Mpasa said this yesterday when he officially opened a meeting of farmers in the Council Chamber.

Mr Mpasa said farmers should not be made to spend nights in the cold as they wait to sell their produce.

He said past experience has shown that delays in the purchase of the crops and payment bred vices such as illicit love affairs and corruption.

And FRA Kawambwa District Marketing Officer, Thomson Mbuzi, informed the farmers that the institution may soon start buying crops following a recent moisture content analysis.

Mr Mbuzi explained that results showed that the moisture levels have now reached 13 per cent.

He said inspections of the 17 satellite depots by FRA have shown that most of them are ready for the crop marketing exercise.

The marketing officer, however, expressed disappointment with farmers using the Kawambwa Tea Estate Satellite Depot for refusing to erect a crop storage slab.

Mr Mbuzi explained that the farmers in Kawambwa Tea Estate area refused to contribute funds towards the construction of the slab after they were allegedly informed not to do so by their area councillor who told them that government had released funds for the project.

He urged the farmers to construct slabs that will stand the test of time, adding that this will lead to a situation where no crop will go to waste.