Agriculture

‘Regulate FISP beneficiaries on maize sales’

By PETER SICHALI
GOVERNMENT should come up with a policy to bar beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) from selling maize to briefcase buyers, Chief Chikwanda of Mpika has said.
Chief Chikwanda said it was not right for FISP beneficiaries to continue selling maize to briefcase buyers, including those from neighbouring countries, at the expense of the country’s food security.
“Government through FRA has a huge target of buying one million tonnes of maize this crop marketing season and it will be very difficult to meet that target because most of the produce could have been bought by these unscrupulous buyers,” Chief Chikwanda said.
He said Government had been spending huge sums of money to provide subsidised inputs to farmers to boost the country’s food security.
“While FRA is still waiting for the moisture content to drop these unscrupulous buyers started selling maize even before harvest and it will be difficult for FRA to meet the one million tonnes target for this year’s marketing season,” Chief Chikwanda said.
He said the trend by small-scale farmers to sell their produce to briefcase buyers was a threat to national food security therefore government should come up with a deliberate policy to curb the trend.
Chief Chikwanda said Government should ensure that FISP beneficiaries that sell maize to unscrupulous buyers were removed from the FISP initiative.

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