THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will immediately reopen all buying for Maize, Soya Beans and Rice, Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri has announced.
“This follows the public outcry that indicated that farmers still had significant stocks to offload,” Mr. Phiri said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday.
He said under the Farmer Input Support Programme, the issue of needing a voter’s card as a requirement for accessing farming inputs was false.
“All you need is a National Registration Card (NRC), be a member of a society and a K400 pack payment,” in explained.
Meanwhile, Nakonde Member of Parliament (MP) Lukas Simumba said there was need to allocate enough time to the exercise as farmers were yet to exhaust he sales.
“The closure of the marketing season was a bit abrupt, without farmers being given any alternative,” Mr. Simumba said.
He said the without an extension, farmers would be vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of briefcase buyers.
Mr. Simumba said Nakonde was a hugely farming dependent area, hence th need for farmers to be adequately supported.
“By doing this, we will be ensuring household food security and growing the national economy for which agriculture is key,” he said in an interview.