Sunday, May 12, 2013

Don't sell maize to briefcase buyers-CB Minister

Mwenya Musenge
COPPERBELT Minister Mwenya Musenge has called on farmers in Chingola not to sale their maize to briefcase business executives.
Officiating at the 18 Chingola District Agriculture and Mining show at Gymkhana  yesterday the Minister said Government would buy all the maize from the farmers hence the reason not to panic and sale to unscrupulous business executive.
Mr Musenge was speaking in a speech read for him by Chingola District Commissioner George Sichula under the theme, ‘Mining and Agriculture for continued development and prosperity.
He advised the farmers to wait until when the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has announced the marketing price.
“You have already done the hard work, so wait on my Government to buy maize from you so that we can improve the food security both at household and national level,” he said
The Minister said the show dubbed,” Mining and Agriculture for continued Development and prosperity’ was a better platform for interaction and sharing of experiences.
He urged the farmers to implement adaptive measures to sustain productivity in view of the climate change that results in unpredictable rainfall pattern.
Mr Musenge also called on the civil service to exercise efficiency in implementing government policies in the agriculture sector to ensure increased food production.
The Minister said it is government policy to encourage the farmers to engage in agricultural diversification to ensure food security at household level. .
He promised the farmers that his Government would work on feeder roads in the district to improve transport accessibility, deliver of fertilizer and seeds on time.
Mr Musenge said agriculture could be the solution to unemployment levels especially that the land in Zambia was fertile with abundant water resources.
He said his Government will promote irrigation kind of farming in order to improve food security.
And Chingola show society chairperson Wilson Kafwimbi called on Government to increase the number of fertilizer bags to eight from the current figure of four per pack.
Mr Kafwimbi said also asked the Minister to ensure the inputs were delivered on time in order to fight hunger as a hungry community was a vulnerable one.
He appealed to government to set up more satellite depots in the district to ensure farmers sell their produce to FRA with relative ease as opposed to the long distances which farmers have to cover to reach the three existing depots
The challenge the show society is facing is delayed payment by the FRA, and this derail season planning for farmers.
“We are also asking Government to help us secure title deeds for this facility which we want to start erecting the boundary wall,” he said.

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