Maize scandal rocks FRA-PGA

 

THE Peasant Growers Association (PGA) has called on Governmnet to put in place a board at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to curb illegalities that have marred the agency where some unscrupulous businessmen were allegedly getting maize using underhand methods.

PGA member Felix Chanda said while the Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda may be justified in some way, there was need to take into consideration the critical maize situation in the country.

Mr. Chanda noted that maize was being exported unnecessarily to other countries due to lack of close supervision since there was no board at the FRA which could oversee and curtail such illegal activities which put the food security of the country at stake.

He said due to lack of a board at FRA, some unscrupulous businesses had taken advantage of the loopholes in acquiring maize and were exploiting the already depleted stocks for their investment, thereby compromising the food security of the country.

He said the need for the FRA board was being made in the best interest of the country as its continued absence could lead to grave consequences which the country would not cope with as unscrupulous businessmen did not cared about the welfare of the Zambians but were only interested in making a fortune for themselves regardless of whether such motives came with a price or not.

Last year, Mr. Lubinda dissolved the board of FRA and all boards and trusts under the Ministry of Agriculture.

He said that for most Boards, the members tenure has either expired or in others, there was no board at all.

He said some of the members of the Boards and Trusts have overstayed the scenario he said was against good corporate governance.

The Boards and Trusts dissolved included the Statutory Bodies: Food Reserve Agency (FRA); Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ); Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ); Cotton Board of Zambia (CBZ); Zambia Coffee Board (ZCB); and Dairy Development Board (DOB).

Trusts include; In-Service Training Trust (ISTT); Golden Valley Agriculture Research Trust (GART); Livestock Development Trust (LDT); and Cotton Development Trust (CDT).

Mr Lubinda said all functions that were being handled by the Boards and Trustees will, from now until further notice be handled by the Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry.

Categorized | Business

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