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SOME buyers contracted by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Solwezi district to buy maize in satellite depots are allegedly asking for K50 payment from farmers before weighing their maize.

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And Acting Solwezi District Commissioner Anthony Fulwe has warned that government will not tolerate such behaviour.

Reverend Fulwe said his office has received complaints from some farmers who have supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency.

He wondered why buyers should ask farmers to pay them when they are being paid by FRA which has contracted them.

Speaking in Solwezi, Rev. Fulwe said no one should be charged for weighing maize they have taken to the satellite depot. 

“My office has received reports from some satellite depots where these buyers engaged by FRA are asking for money before weighing maize, this is unacceptable,” he said.

He urged farmers to report such behaviour to relevant authorities so that appropriate action can be taken.

Meanwhile, the crop purchasing exercise is reported to be slow in Solwezi district.Rev. Fulwe said from the time the exercise commenced in June, the FRA has only managed to buy about 4,722 metric tonnes of white maize out of the targeted 16,000 from the 19 satellite depots dotted around the district.

He said farmers are opting to sale their produce to other buyers on the market other than the FRA adding that others are taking to the neigbouring Democratic Republic of 

Congo (DRC)“We are rather low in terms of maize purchase, from June to date we have only bought about 4,700 metric tonnes when our target is 16, 000,” he said.Rev. Fulwe said government is now engaging farmers to ensure they supply their crops to FRA in order to secure the district’s food security.

“ We have many players on the market and we are not restricting where to sell their maize, what we are saying is that they are better off selling to FRA because if anything happens between now and the next season, we will have stock in our shades,” he said.

He said the FRA has paid out K26, 445,160 to the farmers that have supplied maize to the 

agency.Rev. Fulwe said FRA has money readily available to pay whoever supplies maize.– ZANIS



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