The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has been urged to speedy up the buying of rice from small-scale farmers in North-western province to encourage farmers increase productivity.

Senior Chief Ndunga of Zambezi said as Government make strides in crop diversification, other stakeholders should move along to support the growing rice.

The traditional leader said this in a telephone interview last week from Zambezi west bank that lack of the readily market for the product might discourage local farmers who are marooned with piles of rice.

“FRA has not been buying rice in bulk from the Zambezi west when the land is rich in growing rice…There is need to encourage farmers to promote agriculture in Zambezi,” he said.

He also praised Government for making frantic efforts to improve agriculture in the area.

“Government is doing everything possible to improve agriculture in Zambezi but the onus lies on other stakeholders to positively respond to policies that aim to reduce poverty,” he said.

The chief also confirmed that the farmers have received farming equipment which among others includes a tractor although expressed concern over the late delivery of farm inputs in Zambezi West.

“We appreciate what Government is doing, as farming equipment will help farmers to be efficient and effective in taking farming as a business and they will be encouraged to grow more rice.

“We have not received the farming inputs but information has reached me that by next week the inputs will be in,” the chief said.