By ADRIAN MWANZA
VICE-PRESIDENT W.K. Mutale Nalumango says the delay in paying some farmers who sold maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was as a result of the unplanned 400, 000 metric tonnes of maize that was acquired due to the bumper harvest.
Ms Nalumango speaking during the Vice President’s question time in parliament yesterday said the government was in a crisis concerning the payment of farmers as it only planned to acquire 500, 000 metric tonnes of maize but that they were inundated with the excess grain that was produced.
She said due to the bumper harvest, Government was forced to buy an extra 400, 000 metric tonnes which was not planned for hence the delay to pay farmers.
Ms Nalumango however said the country was food secure and that people should not have any worries as there was enough grain stock.
She also said Government was expecting the rain season to be adequate so that the country could record another bumper harvest.
Ms Nalumango assured the farmers that they would receive their money soon and that they should not worry.
“We were forced to procure and provide an extra 400, 000 metric tonnes of maize above the target even if though there was no money.”
Ms Nalumango said she was aware that farmers were anxious but that the Minister of Agriculture was working with his counterpart at Finance to ensure that funds were released.