The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has opened 12 more satellite depots in Southern Province in its effort to bring the market closer to the farmers.
This brings the total number of satellites deports to 146 in the province with the countrywide total number of depots standing at 1,301.
The new deports are located in Kalomo, Monze, Mazabuka, Namwala and Pemba respectively, says FRA Public Relations Coordinator, John Chipandwe.
Chipandwe, according to a statement issued on Friday, said this after touring newly opened satellite depots in Namwala and Dundumwezi on Thursday.
“The additional of more satellite depots was done in the Agency’s quest to bring the market closer to the farmers and ensure that they do not spend a lot of money on the transportation of their produce.
“The farmers were traveling long distances to deliver the produce to FRA, this was costly to the farmers. Therefore, the opening of more depots was done in order to bring the market closer to the farmers,” Chipandwe said.
He stated that the opening of more satellite depots would also increase the quantity of maize the Agency intended to buy in the province as farmers had easy access to the depots.
Chipandwe said this had helped farmers to deliver the produce on time unlike it was in the past were farmers used to travel long distances.
“Due to long distances, farmers opted to sale their produce to briefcase buyers but with the additional satellite depots, we are confident that we would met the purchase target for the province,” he said.
At the same tour, Dundumwezi Member of Parliament, Edgar Sing’ombe, commended the Agency for the additional satellite depots in his constituency and the district.
Sing’ombe recalled that farmers used to cover long distances to transport their produce which was costly.
“The farmers are very happy with the price of K280 which the agency is offering them which has made them feel that Agriculture is a sustainable business. Secondly the additional depots, these will help the farmers reduce on transportation costs as they used to cover long distances,” he said.
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