By Everister Lungu & Vincent Khonje, MANA
Manager for Mzimba District Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Austin has said the organization would start buying crops from farmers in the district on Tuesday.
Gamphani said they are set to purchase crops at government set prices of K200 for maize and K300 for soya per 1 kilogram.
He also said Mbelwa District Council is anticipating to buy 60 tonnes which will be enough to feed the whole of the district.
“We will not wait any longer as long as as we have the money available,” said Gamphani, adding that Admarc would ensure that workers have protective clothes, water, soap and masks among others, as a measure to prevention of Coronavirus spread.
He said farmers would not be allowed to be in groups but observe social distance as one way of preventing them from the virus.
One of the farmers, Manase Kamanga commended Admarc for the development, saying farmers in the country have made losses after selling their crops to private buyers — who dictated low prices.
“As smallholder farmers, we are happy with Admarc prices. We trust Admarc and it will not steal from us the way vendors do and we are thankful to government,” he said.
Meanwhile, a 25 year old man is in Police custody in Kasungu after he was allegedly found unlawfully buying tobacco as the country gets tough on the new tobacco law.
The Tobacco Industry Act, Section 10 of 2019 outlaws tobacco vending in the country.
According to Kasungu Police, the man — Richman Kathumba — was caught by a team of officials from the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) on Thursday afternoon.
Kasungu Police public relations officer (PRO), Harry Namwaza Kathumba was apprehended by TCC officials on patrol and was later handed over to Police, who are now investigating further before taking him to court.
TCC’s Kasungu Division Manager, Alison Kambiri said the team found the man with the tobacco and a weighing scale, which made them suspicious since the new act prohibits selling of tobacco in an undesignated place.
“We have new laws governing the industry now and we went flat out sensitizing people about these new regulations.
“However, some of the people thought the Commission was not serious enough on this,” he said.
Kambiri said the arrest of Kathumba would send a strong message to those with similar intentions to stop.
If found guilty, Kathumba faces a fine of K10 million and a maximum sentence of five years.
Kathumba hails from Chinkhoma in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Njombwa in the district.