FRA farmer payment register full of errors

LOWER fuel prices will be key to reducing the cost of living in the country, says Christians against Poverty in Zambia (CAPIZ) president Gregory Chileshe.

Mr Chileshe said he was opposed to the continued high cost of living in the country when various programmes were there to ease the livelihood of the people.

He said leaders were to blame for the high levels of poverty in Zambia because they failed to translate their promises into action.

He explained that everything about oil going up or coming down at world markets had a spiral effect on every country like Zambia that depended heavily on oil. He said despite the promising policies that were initiated by relevant authorities, the country had remained the same even after independence because of the failure to put such policies into practice.

“Can the Government be serious on the programmes to deal with poverty alleviation, because monies are disbursed for various projects while poverty levels are still high in the country One wonders who is benefiting from this tax-payers money at the end of the day,” he said. Mr Chileshe said tax-payers’ money should be shared equitably, adding that even the reduction of  prices of  crude oil on international markets should translate into better living standards for the people..

He saw the importance of balancing the economy of the country if development was to be realized.

FARMERS in Luwingu have asked Government to sort out the payment register that the Food Reserve Agency has given to banks for payments because it is full of errors.

One of the affected farmers in the district Mr Moses Mbulo said the payment list that the FRA had submitted to banks  for payment of money to farmers had errors and this had disadvantaged some recipients  who supplied maize to the agency.

Mr Mbulo said the names on the payment register did not correspond with those in the initial register that was compiled when supplying maize to the agency.

He said people in rural areas had challenges in getting their money from the banks as the FRA had not normalized the situation.

He said despite some farmers in Luwingu receiving their money other farming communities  elsewhere in Zambia were facing challenges in getting their money.

Mr Mbulo has since urged the Ministry of Agriculture to follow up on the complaints and resolve the problem.

“A lot of farmers are not happy with what is happening because they have not received their money. There is a problem with the list that has been submitted to the banks and this has not only happened in Northern Province alone but in other provinces as well.

“My lot number was the same as the first one but when I went to the bank against that same number was another name for a woman and the bank could not pay me until this was resolved by the agency,” he said

Mr Mbulo said the office in charge of the payment register issued the register in a hurry, hence the errors of omitting some people from the list.

He said Government should start planning on how much produce it would buy so that reports of over-buying would not be tolerated in this year’s farming season.

“We demand that Government gives us our money now because we have failed to plan for this farming season. This is not the way successive governments were treating farmers and this year it is bad because the farming season is  already in full swing  and we still haven’t been paid our dues,” he said.

The farmers have warned that there would be reduced harvest next year as most farmers would not be able to cultivate larger fields like before.


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