Delayed FRA payments worry Kabwe farmers

SOME farmers in Kabwe who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency but have not been paid have expressed fear that their 2014/2015 preparation for farming will be hampered.

But the district commissioner says Government has paid over 50 percent of the money owed and the rest shall be paid next week.

Speaking to the Daily Nation, a group of farmers said that they were disappointed by Government’s changing of statements on the payments.

They have demanded that government pays them to avert a poor farming season this year.

“We have always been told stories and falsehoods by this Government. This is November and we have not been paid so how do they expect us to prepare for the next season. We want our money and will not tolerate any more adjournments,” said the group spokesperson who sought anonymity for fear of victimization.

But Kabwe district commissioner Patrick Chishala said Government had prepared money to pay the remaining group of farmers.

Mr. Chishala said Government owed the farmers about K12 million but so far K7 million has been paid and that the remaining K5 million will be paid next week.

“I can confirm that we have not paid all the farmers but we have paid over half of what was owed and I have received information from the provincial marketing officer that money has reached the account so I am hopeful that by tomorrow the farmers will start receiving their money so that by Friday next week all of them will have been paid,” said Mr. Chishala.Of late there has been conflicting statements from Government officials on the payment of farmers, forcing farmers in other areas to demand that Government gives them back their maize so that they sell it elsewhere.



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