President Rupiah Banda confers with Food Reserve Agency chairperson Costain Chilala during the launch of the rehabilitated grain silos in Lusaka
President Rupiah Banda confers with Food Reserve Agency chairperson Costain Chilala during the launch of the rehabilitated grain silos in Lusaka

President Rupiah Banda has directed the Stock Monitoring Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MACO) to work closely with the Central Statistical Office (CSO) in ensuring that correct information is reported and passed on timely and accurately to the government on available maize in the country.

President Banda warned that those found not to be accurately reporting their stocks will be dealt with accordingly in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Mr. Banda said this in Lusaka today when he commissioned the refurbished U$D2.2 million (K10 billion) Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Mungwi depot which has a grain silo capacity of 15,000 Metric Tonnes.

He said government would release additional funds to rehabilitate the five other silo depots in Chisamba, Kabwe, Kitwe Monze and Ndola that closed in 1999 due to rampant vandalism and lack of regular maintenance works.

He said government is committed to agriculture development in the country adding that government will rehabilitate other selected FRA stronghold storage depots to contain 97,000 MT at cost of U$D11.6 million from across the country.

President Banda, who also officially launched the 2009/2010 crop marketing season said farming is critical to enhancing food security at national and household levels hence government will invest heavily in infrastructure in rural areas, and weigh bridges rehabilitated to boost crop production in agriculture in the country.

He said government is saddened by reports on account of poor storage facilities leading to the grain rotting and the reason why government is encouraging good crop handling practices is encouraged to increase the crop production because Zambia has got the potential to produce more food to sustain herself and export the surplus grain to its neighbours.

Government engaged a Zimbabwean engineering firm to rehabilitate the FRA Mungwi silo depot.

He said last year, the FRA released K650 billion from the 800,000 MT of maize bought from the farmers.

He called on the private sector to take up the marketing system from farmers while the FRA goes afloat in rural areas concentrates on stocking only the grain for strategic reserves for the nation.

Mr. Banda appealed to the FRA to disburse the funds timely to the farmers so that all the grain is captured adding that government wants to change/improve the livelihood of the farmers.

The President further appealed to the private sector not to take advantage of the absence of the FRA in rural areas thereby purchasing the grain cheaply and distorting the price of both maize and meali-meal instead of the set K65,000 floor price per a 50 kilogram bag of maize.

Speaking earlier, FRA Chairman Constain Chilala said the Agency is scouting for U$D15 million from government to rehabilitate the five remaining silos in five districts namely Chisamba, Kabwe, Kitwe Monze and Ndola.

Mr. Chilala bemoaned the vandalism in districts but that the Agency has increased the number of satellite depots from two to seven in every district as well as opened up new storage depots in selected districts across the nation to enhance food security in the country.

He said the Agency will reject and not buy the maize that do not meet the minimum standards such as below 12.5 percent moisture content and advised agencies appointed by the FRA to adhere to that.

And Minister of Agricuture and Co-operatives Dr. Brain Chituwo said government intends to reverse the shift in crop production from the Northern region to a situation where it will be evenly produced. Currently, to the the weather pattern, the southern region is yielding low in crop production.

Dr. Chituwo said government has recruited more extension Officers in his ministry so that new technology in farming is transferred unto the farmers.

ZANIS

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20 COMMENTS

  1. The He said government would release additional funds to rehabilitate the five other silo depots in Chisamba, Kabwe, Kitwe Monze and Ndola that closed in 1999 due to rampant vandalism and lack of regular maintenance works is very sad. How shall we maintain the HEARSES if we failed on stuff to improve our food storage. As if that was not enough, the Government engaged a Zimbabwean engineering firm to rehabilitate the FRA Mungwi silo depot is a serious indicator that we will need help from abroad to do small jobs that Zambians can do if there is political will. How I love the recovery plans for Zambia by Clive Chirwa (PhD, UK), Prof. at Boston University in UK and not in Zambia, which indicate that we as Zambians need to do such.
    ___
    Prevention is better than cure.

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  2. What we have on this thread is good and sad news. Good news in that ,the maize storage facilities are being refurbished/rehabilitated.These were neglected by the vengeful kafupi and his cohorts including king snake.Sad news in the sense that ,blood tie/bond is thicker than nationality hence the Zimbabwe engineers.

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  3. Instinctively, I have also often doubted some of the figures reported. Those of us who are engaged in research for various projects in Zambia rely on this information. We need accurate data please.

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  4. Government engaged a Zimbabwean engineering firm to rehabilitate the FRA Mungwi silo depot.

    Seeing that Zimbabwe was a breadbasket of Africa with an agriculture industry that was the envy of many, I think they know how to do this job better than any Zambia firm. I think it is better to engage a company that has a pervasive knowledge in this sector than experiment with companies that are looking for a quick buck.

    This is a very good development Mr. President. The RB administration is serious about diversifying this economy and I encourage everyone to champion the RB administration in its development programs. The RB administration is serious about food security and uplifting the lives of farmers. The RB administration is also serious about diversifying the economy.

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  5. RB, all you need to do is pick the phone and call ZNFU for such data/info. How about that RB?

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  6. Why de rehab jobs cost millions of dollars in Poor Zambia when the same jobs cost less in rich countries? I recently read an article in our local paper indicating that £4m was spent on constructing and equipping a brand new state of the art school, complete with computers per each child for 750 pupils.

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  7. ” Yeah!!! so that, I ,Bwezani Banda can know how many bag I can give my godfather Mugabe lol…..” You know Iam good at it.

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  8. Really, you mean Zambians could not have rehabilitated those silos? Now all the jobs will be going to the Zimbabweans!…and the Chinese.

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  9. If you want more famers to grow maize, give them help in terms of finance and education. Dont just talk about it for the sake of making pipo hearing you speak, we want action now.

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  10. It’s interesting to note how people make comments, some clearly for the sake of blogging or just out of ignorance. I would love to hear Zambian civil contractors cry foul over the awarding of the contract to Zimbabwe Grain Marketing Board. Sometimes we need to face facts like #5 says Zim has better capacity and experience than we do. We don’t want a contract being awarded to a Zambian firm just for the sake of awarding the contract to Zambians. Ask National Milling who put up their silos, or Shoprite why they had foreign companies on rebuilding their burnt down cairo road shop. I don’t like RB but of late he has been talking some sense…..hope it bears fruit.

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  11. I see no point in pumping up money in silo deports that do not have a controlled system and are subject to public damage anyways because of lack of proper use. What the Gov. should concentrate on to improve food security is to get involved in the production of it from the grass root level. If they pump efforts in the inputs,the outputs cant be exclusive naturally. such things as knowing stock is a matter of probability and logistics which a computer can do in seconds. What statistics is RB looking for? Such speech is a backup to justify the deports that do not work to their capacities and efficiency. Why pump money in them?Why not pump money in redistribution? When grains are with people who need them, they cant rote. No matter how long they are kept.

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  12. Gents politics aside ! Jacob Mulenga has clinched a deal with Utrecht FC premire division club in Holland.

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  13. the picture on this article should have been the commissioned storage facility. How come all the we are seeing same people in our news? reporters need to be more innovative not to always focus on the political leaders.

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  14. ni woina uyu… sangakambe va zoona… you were not told that wisdom is invesily propotion to size…

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