FRA empowers Solwezi farmers

FRA empowers Solwezi farmers

The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has paid out more that K 4million to farmers in Solwezi district who have sold their crop to the agency.

Solwezi District Acting Commissioner Chipawa Chipawa confirmed that farmers supplying their maize to FRA have already begun receiving their money. Mr Chipawa said it was Government’s intention to pay all the farmers by the end of the marketing season.

“We have begun paying farmers from all 17 satellite depots around the district,” he said.

Mr Chipawa said the district was on course in completing the maize purchase exercise and payment of farmers.

He said the response from farmers selling maize  to FRA had been overwhelming.

Mr Chipawa said the large turnout was evidence that the district has had a bumper harvest in the 2014-2015 harvest season.

“Even after selling to private millers, there is still adequate crop to be sold to FRA which is a sign of a bumper harvest,” he said.

Mr Chipawa reiterated Government’s commitment to bettering the lives of farmers so that they could also reap the full benefits of their hard work hence the speedy payment.

He noted that the increase of the price of 50 kg bag of maize from K70 to K75 was in line with Government’s commitment.

Mr Chipawa said Government was also setting up a large milling company in the province which will be run by the Zambia National Service (ZNS).

“The milling plant will provide a competitive environment for private millers and encourage farmers not to be reliant only on FRA,” he said.

Mr Chipawa also said t the district had already begun receiving farming input for the 2015-2016 farming season.

He said the district has so far received 22, 540 bags of D-Compound.

Mr Chipawa said distributions of the farm input would  begin as soon as farmers mobilized themselves in readiness for farming.