MINISTRY of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa says Government will not compel the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to revise the K60 price at which it will buy a 50kg bag of maize.
The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) last week wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture to intervene over the FRA’s decision to maintain the K60 price.
Before writing to the Ministry of Agriculture, ZNFU had requested the agency to consider adjusting the price upwards for the benefit of farmers.
ZNFU argued that the K60 set by FRA was below the cost of producing maize.
After the meeting held a week ago, FRA issued a statement in which it maintained that it will buy maize from farmers at K60 for a 50kg bag because the price is determined by market forces.
And Mr Shawa said his office will respect FRA’s decision to maintain the price at which it will buy maize.
He said in an interview on Monday that the FRA was given powers to determine a favourable price at which it is ready to buy maize this marketing season.
“FRA was given the authority to determine the price at which it would buy maize, and we [Ministry of Agriculture] will go by that stance.
“We cannot start contradicting what our institution [FRA] has said,” Mr Shawa said.
“They [ZNFU] went to FRA and the agency responded and we [Ministry of Agriculture] will stick to that [response from FRA],” he said.