The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) says that it will not extend this year’s marketing period, despite starting the exercise late in buying maize from farmers.
FRA Public Relations Manager, Mwamba Siame said the agency will not extend the period because the exercise started at the right time.
Mrs. Siame said that even farming activities have shown that June was too early to start buying maize from farmers as many of them were still harvesting and packaging their maize.
“Farmers activities have shown that June is too early and as for today the agency has not recorded reports of any farmers being turned away” she said.
Mrs. Siame said this to ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday in response to a press query.
Mrs. Siame also said the agency has not purchased any maize from farmers since the agriculture marketing season started last on June 1, 2009, because maize from most parts of the country still has high moisture content due to late rains.
Mrs. Siame has meanwhile assured farmers in remote rural areas that the Food Reserve Agency will buy all their maize during this marketing season.
She said the agency will provide market accessibility to the disadvantaged farmers who are very far from the main towns.
Government this year allocated K100 billion for the purchase of about 150,000 metric tones of white maize from small scale farmers.