Farmers in Mufumbwe this morning stormed the District Commissioner’s (DC) office to complain over delayed payments for the maize they supplied to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
The farmers protested that despite supplying their maize to the FRA the agency has failed to pay them in good time adding that this has affected their preparations for the 2014/2015 farming season.
A Representative of the farmers Lapson Kayombo said the FRA has not been paying farmers in the district despite assurances from government that they would be paid within two weeks of supplying the maize.
Another Farmer, Ackson Likashi, called on government to improve the payment method by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) especially that only 32 farmers have been paid from the first book at the main depot.
Mr Likashi has since advised government through the District Commissioner to clearly explain its position on the FRA payment.
“there are some farmers that supplied their maize in August but up to now they have not been paid,” he said.
And, Chamuzuma Kapalu, another farmer , said delayed payment has greatly affected them as they are not able to mobilize themselves for the upcoming farming season.
Mr Kapalu expressed fear that the situation would only lead farmers to sell their maize to briefcase middlemen.
But Mufumbwe District Commissioner Mankishi Mukokwe appealed to the farmers to exercise patience as government was working tirelessly to address their concerns.
Ms Mukokwe assured that government remains committed to paying farmers for the maize they supplied to the FRA.
“Let us be patient as my office looks into the issue. I will call the FRA depot manager to get the details on the ground then we can look at solutions from there,” said the District Commissioner.