State gives FRA K50 billion for the 2010 grain marketing
Food Reserve Agency (FRA ) Executive Director Anthony Mwanaumo says government has given his Agency K50 billion for this years’ marketing programme.
In a statement to ZANIS today, Mr. Mwanaumo explains that the amount is part of the K100 billion provided for in the 2010 national budget.
“All the farmers who have so far delivered their crops to FRA will be paid next week.
We have so far purchased maize and rice worth K25 billion mainly from the southern part of the country where moisture levels are within our specifications.
“ Indications are however that most parts of the country are increasingly becoming more active given significant reduction in moisture,” he says.
Meanwhile, the FRA has confirmed reports that some districts have run out of empty grain bags.
Dr Mwanaumo explains that this was due to the increased rate farmers in the country are delivering the crop to the satellite depots as compared to the rate at which requisites are being delivered to these depots.
“ In view of this, farmers will be allowed to deliver the crops their own serviceable bag with immediate effect for a period of one month up to 20th August, 2010, says the FRA Boss.
He adds that in order for his Agency to distribute the empty grain bags adequately throughout the country, the farmers’ bag will be returned after re-bagging in the FRA bag during the course of the marketing season
It is worth noting that the FRA insists on its own bags which are UV treated to protect the grain from direct heat and have anti slip properties which make it easy for the bags to be stacked together.
The Agency also had to adjust upwards the quantities earlier planned to be bought after the announcement of the crop forecast report findings which indicate that the country has recorded a K2.7 million metric tonnes production. This meant that more marketing requisites such as empty grain bags had to be procured.
The FRA plans to buy at least 300,000 metric tonnes of maize, 2,000 metric tonnes of Paddy rice and 1,000 metric tonnes of cassava.