Isoka agro dealer supplying underweight fertilizer exposed

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PETER SICHALI writes

FARMERS in Isoka District have reported an agro dealer to police for supplying them with underweight bags of Urea fertilizer.

Muchinga Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase said Moses Kolala 60, a peasant farmer, reported Power Times Agro Shop on behalf of other farmers for alleged incorrect declaration or statement as to weights contrary to section 31(1) of the laws of Zambia measures and weights act Cap 403 of the Laws of Zambia.

‘‘The incident happened on   January 14, 2019 at Power Times Agro Shop  in Isoka, when Kolala   of Chuwi Village, Chief Kafwimbi, District Isoka reported on behalf of the peasant farmers who are redeeming their farm inputs for the 2018/19 farming season that Mr Amos Simbeye manager for Power Times an agro dealing company was allegedly distributing some underweight bags of Jacaranda urea fertiliser.’’ Mr Njase said

Mr Njase said Mr Kolala complained that Mr Simbeye allegedly falsely declared the underweight bags as 50 KG bags when in fact the inputs were weighing in the range of 40 to 42 kilos.

The police commissioner said the complainant also alleged that Mr Simbeye distributed 10 underweight bags of fertilizer to unsuspecting peasant farmers.

‘‘Acting on this report, the Agro Shop was visited by my men who observed that the said inputs were visibly seen to be underweights,” he said

Having discovered this, it was resolved that the underweight bags be separated from the stack by the agro dealer and only verified 50 kg bags should be  distributed to the farmers to allow for further investigations,” Mr Njase said

Mr Njase said it was resolved that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), should be engaged in weighing bags of fertilizer to verify the prescribed weights.

Mr Njase said an inquiry file has been opened to facilitate investigations and that no arrests have been made yet.

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