1.5mt of maize is in stock

 1.5mt of maize is in stock

The country currently has 1.5 million metric tonnes of maize stocks.

Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri said the 1.2 miliion metric tonnes is what is been held by the national strategic food reserves while the remaining is what the other stakeholders has in their storage.

Mr Phiri said this shows that the country is food secure and can go till March 2023 without importing any grain.

The Minister said this when he received a report on a special joint stock exercise of the national strategic food reserves that was conducted this year.

He has also urged the Food Reserve Agency to reduce the time frame in which business transactions happen between the agency and the private sector.

Mr Phiri said he has received a number of concerns from the private sector on the delay in business transactions with the private sector.

He said with the launch of the public private Dialogue Forum for Development, the agency should be sensitive to the demand of the private sector so that the operations are tandem.

Mr Phiri also urged the agency to sensitize players in the industry to participate in the maize marketing season this year because its role will be mitigated.

Meanwhile Mr PHIRI said his ministry is constantly in dialogue with the millers association of Zambia to reduce the price of mealie meal.

He further suggested that Zambians should adopt a culture of growing maize for home consumption which will in turn see a reduction of mealie meal on the market.

And FRA Board chairperson Kelvin Hambwezya said the special audit was aimed at confirming the quality and quantity of stocks in the national strategic food reserves.

Mr Hambwezya said the agency has 1.2 million metric toones of which over 947 metric tonnes of maize was purchased from the 2021 crop marking season while the 319 199 metric tonnes was a carry over.

He said that the agency was able to visit 390 FRA depots across the country but failed to visit 25 depots’ due to lack of access because roads are impassible.

Speaking also during the meeting FRA Executive Director Chola Kafwabulula said the FRA paid 2.8 billion kwacha for the maize it purchased.

He said the agency has however sold maize worth 216 million kwacha from January to date.

Alice Nachilembe

https://tiozambia.com

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.