Vice president, Inonge Wina has implored farmers countrywide to sell their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Mrs Wina said it is important that the one million farmers that are beneficiaries of the Framer Input Support Programme (FISP) should sell their maize to FRA in order to contribute to the national strategic food reserve.
Mrs Wina pointed out that it is regrettable that beneficiaries of FISP are prioritizing private buyers instead of selling maize to FRA.
The Vice president said this in Parliament yesterday when responding to a question from Nakonde Member of Parliament, Yizukanji Siwanzi who wanted to know if government has any intentions of allowing farmers to export their maize to realize maximum profit.
She emphasized that ensuring national and household food security should be a priority and can only be achieved by selling the merchandise to FRA.
“It is regrettable that farmers who are benefiting from FISP are selling maize to outsiders instead of ensuring food security by contributing to the national strategic food reserve. All famers under FISP should sell their maize and other crops to FRA before they think of selling elsewhere by doing so we will be supporting the FRA which is doing the work on behalf of government and the Zambian people,” she said.
Mrs Wina however, said some of the issues surrounding the maize purchase by FRA will be settled once the FRA Act which is under debate is enacted into law.
The Food Reserve Agency Bill provides for continued existence of the Food Reserve Agency and re-defines its functions which include re-constituting the Board of the Agency; continuing the existence of the National Strategic Food Reserve and repealing and replacing the Food Reserve Act, 1995.