Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo has announced that the Government has stopped supplying maize through the Food Reserve Agency – FRA to traders but will instead limit the supply of the commodity to millers in order to control the rise in the price of mealie meal.
Addressing the media in Lusaka this morning, the Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo stated that this is because of the current pressure on the limited stocks of maize in the country, adding that FRA will now concentrate on supplying maize to millers who will in turn sell to the traders.
“At the moment, FRA is distributing 250,000 metric tonnes of maize to all millers countrywide,” Mr Mtolo mentioned
Mr Mtolo said that despite the foregoing, the private sector still remains free to export maize and its products sourced from elsewhere other than the FRA.
He added that the Ministry is working with Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure that the export of mealie meal at borders is done in a legitimate manner.
The Minister noted that in view of the foregoing, government will closely monitor retail prices among the millers receiving maize grain from FRA to ensure that all the millers sale the product at the recommended price and any miller found arbitrarily increasing the price of mealie meal will cause government to restrain supply of the commodity.
Mr Mtolo has since assured the nation that Zambia has enough maize stocks to last up to the next harvest, adding that the country is headed for a bumper harvest because the rains are good and the distribution of farming inputs is almost complete.
Meanwhile, Mr Mtoolo disclosed that about 124,000 hectares of maize and wheat in all the 10 provinces has been affected by the army worms, and to combat the fall army worms that have invaded these hectares of agricultural land, the government has released about 55 million Kwacha towards the procurement of chemicals.
“The destruction represents 11 percent of the crop,” he noted
He further disclosed that the release of 55 million Kwacha by the treasury has helped in the acquisition of 99,000 liters of different types of chemicals which has so far been distributed to farmers for free.
Mr Mtolo cited that the whole purpose of distributing different types of chemicals to the farmers periodically changing the type of chemicals to be spread is to avoid buildup pests’ resilience.
“Every province has so far received and are still receiving the chemicals to combat the widespread of armyworms,” he said
He has since advised all the farmers to immediately report to the agriculture officers in order to access the free chemicals that are being provided for by the government through his Ministry.
And Mr Mtolo has also disclosed that overall the government has distributed 96 percent of farming inputs across all the provinces as of yesterday.
“The overall performance in terms of FISP shows that a lot of progress has been met and the targets are also being met, for instance of the total allocation of 153, 665.10 metric tonnes of D compound Fertilizer, the entire quantity of this fertilizer type has been distributed across the country, we concentrated on the distribution of Compound D fertilizer as it is needed first in the field, where some use it as they plant, while others wait for the plants to have a few leaves then they apply it,” he said
The Agriculture Minister revealed that so far, the countrywide distribution of Compound D fertilizer has been completed while Urea of the total 153, 665.1 metric tonnes, a 140, 006 metric tonnes has been delivered which represents 92 percent distribution of Urea.
Mr Mtolo disclosed that of the 1,024,434 targeted farmers, a total of 1,016, 998 farmers have deposited their contribution resulting in total deposits made of about 406 million Kwacha which translates into 99.27 percent of farmers having made their deposits.
“When I say farmers have deposited, it means they have paid the 400 Kwacha which is the contribution amount to be given the inputs that costs about 9000 Kwacha hence, farmers are only required to pay a sum of 400 Kwacha,” Mr Mtolo explained
Food Reserve Agency supply of maize to millers should be so ordinary and so obvious that it should not even make news. After all,what’s the maize for? That this has got in the news is a sign that something is wrong somewhere.
#Gunners the first paragraph doesn’t make sense at all….why would FRA supply maize to traders? All in all this just fire fighting.
That never works. Corrupt cartels will take over and the desired price will prevail
The man does not strike me as being competent for this ministry, and hope the powers that be can try someone else soon.
Liars again Mtolo Phiri few months ago you were bosting together with Veep that you have morethan enough stock of maize today you are saying limited stck . So this New Doom Government is just all about telling lies.
Lying has become normal. There’s no harm in telling us the bad news instead of raising false hopes.
Another unproductive Minister talking about bumper harvest honestly. This man has no shame he has messed up the all system and has the nerve of talking about pumper harvest.
GRZ What kind of hypothesis are these? When you know that an organization well known that wants to do business with you, they will use the principle of sufficient reason to determine where you stand because they are accountable to the Taxpayers.
GRZ we live in a block universe.
This is a routine and obvious activity by GRZ through FRA, nothing intelligent or special. Things were more efficient at FRA during the times Anthony Mwanaumo as Director and Edify Hamukale anchoring the marketing and food reserve department. Now we have a thief Kafwabulula who steals with Minister Mtolo and Chairman Hambwezya highly loving cash at the expense of public gain. Over pricing of contracts is the the order of the day at FRA
Wht will FRA do with the maize if millers do not buy it? Supplying grain to millers is the whole point of buying the maize from farmers.
Government will do this; Government will do that. When are we going to hear government has done this? These incompetent ministers will cost us . Taking us back instead of forward.
This is a routine and obvious activity by GRZ through FRA, nothing intelligent or special. Things were more efficient at FRA during the times Anthony Mwanaumo as Director and Edify Hamukale anchoring the marketing and food reserve department. Now we have a thief Kafwabulula who steals with Minister Mtolo and Chairman Hambwezya highly loving cash at the expense of public gain. Over pricing of contracts is the the order of the day at Food Reserve agency
Why dont they find a permanent solution why are these solutions always short term…what exactly do these people do all day in their offices
Akangiwa Chabe Mtolo Phiri,let them replace him with a more competent Minister like Cornelius Mweetwa
Ooh no Cornelius Mweetwa can never manage Agriculture or anything for that matter. If you want political statements at the ministry of agriculture everyday for five years, then send mweetwa who hides away from choma. Dont asses performance by talking, the guy mweetwa has no depth and detail. He has failed to usher even one development project in southern province. He is always in Lusaka and runs away from his constituency . We miss Edify Hamukale, the practical and focused leader he was as minsiter of the southern province. Here in Choma we shall vote even for a frog if UPND adopts mweetwa. Pure hypocrite and coward.
They are busy exporting maize grown under PF and until now they are still talking about delivering farm inputs mid way into the rainy season.
This minister is pathetic liar. He says 99.27% of farmers have made their deposits. This government a week is not passing without some top official telling lies. We have not even reached 65%. Where is he coming up with inflatable percentage. We still have ten thousands of farmer still stuck.
The Agriculture Minister , Reuben Mtolo Phiri is being micro managed by Mr Chance Kabaghe Who suoervised him at Food Reserve Agency. He is getting fertilizer contracts kick backs. mtolo has a degree in economics and NOT Agriculture . MARK MY WORDS AND MAY ZAMBIA BE SAVED FROM THIS DANGEROUS MANIPULATIVE PAIR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The minister says we have limited stocks of maize, but in the same breath assures the country that we have enough stocks of maize. Which is which?
This is more like the electricity story. No one will be load shedded but here we are being load shedded.
Coming up with an agreement with FRA will be cut. If no one buys from them then what happens to the maize. Mealie meal prices will raise either way hence an integration of both parties is best
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