By Scoop Reporter
ALL farmers and Food Reserve Agency (FRA) satellite depots that will be buying crops once the marketing season commences will be required to strictly follow all measures introduced by the Ministry of Health aimed at preventing and curbing the spread of Corona Virus Disease (COVID 19), the Agency has said.
FRA Public Relations Coordinator John Chipandwe has today told The Scoop in a statement that FRA, being an essential institution mandated to create market access to rural small scale farmers and manage national strategic food reserves among other functions, will not falter on this score.
Mr. Chipandwe says FRA has continued adhering to measures announced by the Ministry of Health (MoH), Cabinet and the World Health Organisation (WHO) aimed at preventing and curbing the spread of COVID 19.
He says all farmers will be required to adhere to the mandatory wearing of facemasks as they visit depots to sell their agricultural produce.
He says all farmers will be required to practice social distancing of 1 or 1.5 metres as they visit any depot.
“ALL satellite depots will avoid mass gatherings of farmers as they wait to sell their agricultural produce and the Agency will be attending to not more than 50 farmers at a time in order to ensure that MoH Guidelines on mass gatherings are adhered to.
“To effectively do this, the Agency will in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the local leadership undertake prior enlisting and registration of farmers to serve such farmers on allocated days to avoid congestion at depots,” Mr. Chipandwe said.
He says the Agency will also continue mass sanitisations of its premises countrywide and will be conducting temperature checks for staff and farmers.
“The Agency will ensure that social distancing, sanitising, wearing of masks and avoidance of mass gatherings will be practiced in all satellite depots.
“Further, mass sensitisations to farmers in all provinces regarding the stated guidelines will be conducted on Community Radio Stations to ensure that farmers are aware of the measures put in place by the Agency,” he said.