—Farmers in Luwingu district in Northern Province have asked government and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to bring back their maize which they sold to the agency because it has failed to pay for the grain.
The farmers, who stormed the office of the District Commissioner yesterday, said they have decided to withdraw their commodity sold to the FRA because the agency has no money to pay them.
Speaking on behalf of other farmers, Jimmy Makumba, supported by Samson Chomba and Anthony Mupangwe all of Luwingu Central, said government, through Food Reserve Agency, has spent K7 million out of the required K25 million to clear the farmers since the program started two months ago.
The visibly annoyed farmers said they were worried that government has already started distributing fertilizers to cooperative societies in the district, adding that only a few farmers would access it because the majority of them have no money to purchase the commodity under Farmer Input support Programme (FISP).
“If government is not ready to pay us our money they should bring back our maize we supplied to them without fail,” they warned.
And Luwingu district Commissioner, Mambwe Katontoka, has assured farmers that government was doing everything possible to ensure that they were paid.
Mrs Katontoka said government is aware that farmers in Luwingu and other districts were not paid for the maize they supplied to the FRA this season.