FRA directed to offload 1m tonnes maize

Last year's Maize from the bumper harvest in Kapiri Mposhi
File: A maize Storage facility in Kapiri Mposhi

THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has been allowed to sell a million tonnes of maize at a reduced price to ensure that excess maize does not go to waste.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Emmanuel Chenda said the excess maize was accumulated over the last three years when the country experienced successive bumper harvests.

“As you may be aware, the country has had three successive bumper harvests starting from the 2008/09 season. Over the years, the capacity of the FRA to secure markets for the huge maize surplus has been over-stretched,” he said.

He said due to the urgency of the situation, Government has allowed the FRA to sell 1,067,000 tonnes of maize at a much reduced price of from US$170 to US$180 per metric tonne to a range of US$135 to US$170 per metric tonne depending on the location of the maize.

“At this lower price range being recommended now, Zambian maize will be competitive within the SADC and COMESA regions. The southern African regional commodity exchange (SAFEX) is currently quoting maize at a range of US$296.64 to US$298.51 per metric tonne,” Mr Chenda said.

He said as at October 14, 2011, the total maize stocks under the custody of the FRA were 1,927,912 tonnes valued at K2.506 trillion.

Mr Chenda said the FRA also has 300,000 metric tonnes already secured as strategic food reserves by the FRA, which are sufficient for national consumption needs for three months at a monthly rate of 80,000 tonnes including provisions for unforeseen demands.

Zambia consumes about 960,000 metric tonnes of maize per year.

He said to ensure that maize does not go to waste, Government transported the commodity to secured storage facilities, and where this has not been possible, to cover all the remaining maize to secure it from the imminent rains in most rural depots with unsuitable storage facilities.

“Government has further partitioned the market for the surplus maize into four segments, each with a competitive price, that can be relied upon to quickly boost the demand for the commodity,” Mr Chenda said.

He said localised community sales in most districts have been allocated the most grain with 10,000 tonnes while exporters, mostly grain traders, will get 600,000 metric tonnes.

“The category of millers, stock-feed manufacturers and other processors has been allocated 432,000 tonnes while the disaster management and mitigation unit has been given up to 25,000 tonnes,” he said.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

20 Comments

  1. 2 flag yezyani

    so we subsidise even the foreign market.pa zed ni zee,i thot it was to be offloaded to local millers with a view to reducing mmeal ptrices,oops economist guide some of us.

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  2. 3 flag gagande

    DON’T KUBEBA!
    if MMD did this they would be called thieves, QFM would be interviewing all PF sympathisers on how our food basket is being given away for a song

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  3. 4 flag dc

    I am of a view that this maize could be sold to the millers at a reduced cost. These miller can then process the maize into various finished products like mealie-meal and various animal feeds which can then be exported at a higher cost than what raw maize is fetching. In this way, our millers will be given be empowered and the general zambian masses would benefit from reduced maize products.

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  4. 5 flag Don P

    I think its better for the govt to sell this maize at a reduced price and get something than to see it go to waste. It is imperative that some moeny is realised from this than for it to all be wasted. Millers can also be beneficiaries so that mealie meal prices for us the locals are further reduced.

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  5. 6 flag Kawi

    Bakamba ba GBM naba ba Mulubwa (Chat Breweries) twalya again nip a Z.chalo chesu

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  6. 7 flag Pepecho Suffering

    @4, dc Zambian millers where approached but most of them have enough stock to last up to the next harvesting season. They can not buy more maize as storage space is an issue to them. I believe the maize going at $135 is bad or rotten grain meant for stock feed.
    It is not the first time the gvt is selling maize at this price even last year it was sold at the same price.If the maize is not sold now, the gvt will have problems to buy the next harvest because of storage space and stock management issues. 
    This is a good move and must be recommended.

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  7. 8 flag father chalilowa reloaded

    Subsidies are back. Sata and his comedic cabinet are working

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  8. 9 flag Pepecho Suffering

    I now see sense in what president sata meant when he opened parliament. he talked about gvt encouraging Zambian farmers to grow other crops such as rice, finger millet etc, which have alot of market out there. maize at the moment has very limited market. Brazill is offloading alot of cheap maize in countries such Cameroon, Angola, Nigeria and most west African Countries.
    The gvt should train and employ more agriculture extension officers to train farmers, as a way of encouraging them to grow other crops.

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  9. 10 flag Objective

    I thot the MMD govt was actually telling lies that there is a bumper harvest. According to Guy Scott, these figures are fake. I guess MMD’s performance is there to see and is actually benefiting the PF. Imagine taking over a country that has no food? But you are condeming the performance of a govt that has food.

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  10. 11 flag dc

    @6,8: U’re right. there’s need for diversification. It looks like every farmer went into maize farming resulting in the market flooding with the same crop. I’m sure lessons have been learnt. I have been planning to do some farming this year. I will plant beans which does not require fertiliser but fetches more money.

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  11. 12 flag GHL

    Sell it and donate some to somali

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  12. 13 flag OCTOPUS PAUL BWALYA

    YA BA YA BA , GBM milling more money in your pocket, why cant you offload the maize to millers so that the staple food can drop to k15 pin via GRZ subsidence or are scared GBM wont make profit,Plz can someone teach PF  Why nations like kenya never experience hunger does PF KNOW  Successful Buffer and Emergency Reserves, MY FOOT !!!

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  13. 14 flag joseph Daka

    SO WHEN GUY SCOT WAS DISPUTING THE BUMPER HARVEST HE WAS JUST……….
    NEXT PF WILL BOASTING OF HAVING LOWERED THE MEALIE MEAL PRICES

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  14. 15 flag FRA director

    it’s a chaalenge to eat it all, it’s a challenge to sell it and it’s a challenge to store it all… BUMPER HARVEST indeed!!!

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  15. 16 flag dvd

    iwe marubbishi there is more maize in Zambia that the government is auctioning it.if you don’t
    understand that is what is called BUMPER HARVEST.you should go to school

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  16. 17 flag dvd

    iwe marubbishi there is more maize in Zambia that is why the government is auctioning it.if you don’t understand that is what is called BUMPER HARVEST.you should go to school

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  17. 18 flag nakuta neo

    RB thank you for feeding all of us for the next two years.

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  18. 19 flag kb

    WHO ‘S GONNA CARE FOR ZED??? zambia.its pointless to have a 3months reserve, zambia needs a 2yrs reserve maize storage facility so that even if heavens takes the rains our ppl should not die for stupid governance.if u can have 3 consective yrs of plenty then starving will be total negligency and poor planning for the authorities.

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  19. 20 flag KAPOTU

    And guess who is going to buy this maize …. Yes, you are “GBM”

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