THE FOOD Reserve Agency(FRA) has pooled massive funds into building more grain storage facilities in Northern Province to match the areas increased production which has been the highest in Zambia for the past two years.
FRA chief Chola Kafwabulula said the extra storage facilities which include a 25,000 tonne silo in Kasama will help minimise wastage of grain and provide much needed space.
“What will see here is huge investment for storing grain. We do not want to see a repeat of wasted grain because of poor storage facilities.
“As at now, crop wastage is below one per cent which in itself is an incredible achievement as industry standards put acceptable wastage levels at about two to three per cent” he said.
Just two weeks into the maize marketing period, FRA sheds in Kasama are bursting at the seams with the amount of maize being delivered at strategic collection points.
To meet storage requirements to match the output, the agency will in the next few months through a Chinese contractor begin working on the silo in Kasama.
Another firm, Advanced African Solutions has been awarded a K73 million contract to build storage sheds across the province in the next two to three months.
As at yesterday, 39,141 tonnes of maize had been bought worth more than K58.7 million.
In Mbala, which is the highest producer among the districts, 194,000 bags of maize had been purchased. Three 5000 tonne capacity storage sheds will be built in the town.
Luwingi and Kaputa will each have one new three tonne shed while Mporokos and Mungwi will each have one extra five tonne shed.
And Northern Province permanent secretary Hlobota Nkunika said teh province had teh potential to further increase yield with the introduction of mechanised farming.
He said he was hopeful that assistance from co-operating partners that were spearheading iirigation in the province would further push up production.
Mr Kafwabulula is in the area to monitor the marketing exercise and attend to issues that have been cropping up.