THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has assured Government that it will manage to buy enough maize required for national reserves and ensure that Zambia enjoys food security.
FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula told journalists after visiting Zimba satellite depot yesterday that there is no need to worry about the country’s maize reserves.
“In terms of national reserves, we will buy sufficient stocks for national reserves. We don’t have to worry about this…we are going to be secure in terms of food,” Mr Kafwabulula said.
In the last three weeks, the FRA has been buying maize from farmers across the country. The agency has so far purchased 146, 828 metric tonnes of maize. Last year, within the same period, the FRA only bought 119,000 metric tonnes.
He said if the trend continues, the agency is likely to buy more maize this year compared to last year.
Mr Kafwabulula said according to statistics, the FRA has so far bought more maize from the Northern Province.
“The highest purchase is from Northern province. So far we have bought about 33,000 metric tonnes from the 146, 828 metric tonnes countrywide….Western Province has recorded the lowest purchase so far,” he said.
He said despite its target of 500,000 metric tonnes of maize, the FRA will continue to buy the crop whenever the farmers supply it.
Meanwhile, private maize traders in Zimba are using defective scales to weigh the maize they are buying from local farmers.
One of the farmers Sylvia Rito, who has sold more than 300 x 50 kilogrammes of bags to the FRA, said farmers have lost a lot of maize through defective scales used by private traders.
“We waited for the FRA to buy our maize instead of selling to briefcase maize buyers. FRA scales are more accurate,” she said.