—Deputy Minister of Agriculture and livestock, Greyford Monde, has instructed Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to continue buying maize from famers in Itezhi Tezhi district.
Government, through the FRA, has so far purchased 4,667 metric tonnes of maize which translates into 93,357X50 kg bags of white maize from across Itezhi Tezhi district.
Speaking during Bulongo traditional ceremony of the Ila people of Basanga in chief Musungwa’s chiefdom over the weekend, Mr Monde said that FRA was a buyer of the last resort and are mandated to buy all the maize from small scale farmers who are taking maize to their depots.
He said he received some reports that FRA had stopped buying maize in Itezhi Tezhi district and that famers were being turned away with their produce.
“I have received reports that FRA has stopped buying maize from here but I am instructing them to continue buying maize from farmers because government is the buyer of last resort,” he said.
He urged all farmers to continue taking their maize to the nearest FRA depots for sale.
Meanwhile, Mr Monde has urged traditional leaders of the Ila people to properly document their ceremony and register it so that it can be recognized by the government.
Mr Monde pointed out that without formal documentation and application for recognition of the ceremony, the ceremony will not attract government funding.
“Bulongo traditional ceremony has a very interesting history. We would like you to properly document the ceremony and make a formal application for its recognition,” Mr Monde said.
And Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner, George Sichula, appealed to traditional leaders in Basanga to help reduce indiscriminate cutting of trees that has become rampant in the area.
Mr Sichula said reports from the Forestry Department indicate that subjects in chief Musungwa’s chiefdom especially those on traditional land have been indiscriminately cutting trees.
Meanwhile Mr Sichula has appealed to Chief Musungwa to help curb early marriages in Itezhi Tezhi.
He said girl children should be given an opportunity to have an education.