By Charles Tembo
THE Treasury has released K667 million
to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for outstanding payments to farmers under the 2020/2021 marketing season.
Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane says all outstanding payments to farmers for the respective season have now been cleared.
“Considering the K960 million released to FRA on 3rd January, 2022, and K667 million released today, all outstanding payments to farmers for the 2020/2021 season have now been cleared. Today’s action by the Treasury is significant because it represents a policy shift of the UPND Government to piroritise the agriculture sector as it presents us the best opportunity to attain growth, especially that the majority of our people, about 80 percent, are dependent on it,” Dr Musokotwane said in a statement on Friday. “The sector has a relatively short gestation period with low capital requirements that are necessary to
address poverty and vulnerability. The sector has for a long time faced a number of impediments to the realisation of its full potential. These include, the historical delayed payments for grains supplied to the Food Reserve Agency, which impact on the productivity of a subsequent farming season. Gladly, the matter has substantially been dealt with this month so that our farmers could focus on their fields instead of chasing their payments.”
Dr Musokotwane has urged the competent authority in charge to ensure that a transparent payment system is deployed in paying the farmers without delay.