Sumbawanga — THE National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) in Sumbawanga Zone owes five council authorities and transporters in Rukwa and Katavi regions over 4bn/- in arrears for maize purchased last season.
The data was made available recently before the Rukwa Regional Consultative Council (RCC) meeting that the food agency owed transporters 2.4bn/- after ferrying 44,464 tonnes of maize from purchasing centres located in rural areas to Mpanda Hotel NFRA storage facility in Katavi Region and Mazwi storage facility in Sumbawanga Town, Rukwa Region.
The data shows that the food agency owed five councils 1,790,088,583/-, of which 526,193,357/- was levy the agency was supposed to pay the councils during the 2012/13 purchasing season.
According to the breakdown, the agency owes Sumbawanga Municipal Council 332,137,386/-; Sumbawanga District Council 451,822, 827/-; Nkasi District Council 615,405,757/- and the newlyestablished Kalambo Council in Rukwa Region as well as Mlele District in Katavi Region.
Rukwa Regional Commissioner (RC), Ms Stella Manyanya has called on the agency to expedite payment of crop levies, which would be utilised by the councils for development schemes in their respective areas.
According to the RC, if NFRA had disbursed the money the councils would have collected 1,790,088,583/- in revenue, adding that during the 2013/14 harvesting season, farmers in the region had harvested a bumper surplus of over 400,000 tonnes of maize alone.