—Small scale farmers in Serenje District have started receiving payment for the maize sold to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
The farmers started supplying their maize to the agency two weeks ago.
Serenje District Commissioner, Charles Mwelwa, confirmed the development to ZANIS, saying farmers in the district started receiving their money for the maize they supplied during the 2013/14 maize harvest on Tuesday.
Mr Mwelwa said the FRA is expected to purchase about 50,000x 50 Kg bags of maize from the initial K3.4 million sent to the district.
And some of the farmers who were found at Finance Bank receiving payment for their crop expressed happiness with government’s newly introduced system of paying farmers within two weeks after supplying the produce to the agency.
In an interview with ZANIS today, one of the farmers, Collins Mumba of Mulilima Satelite Depot, said despite farmer being able to get their money two weeks after supplying their maize, the system is efficient as it minimises congestion at the bank and does not compel farmers to spend days at the bank.
Another farmer, Rhoda Kafuka of Lumpampa Depot observed that the fact that farmers have been paid early this year means they will be able to prepare adequately for the next farming season and send their children to school without involving themselves in credits.
“This time we will not be involved in credits as we have done in the past when we used to get our money late. This time we will also be able to prepare adequately for the next farming season because we have the money,” Ms Kafuka said.
Ms Kafuka, who thanked government for devising a more efficient mode of paying farmers, said the new payment system will help small scale farmers in the country to progress.