SUN REPORTER writes
THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has so far bought 323,000 tonnes of maize countrywide at a cost of K712 million.
FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula said in Petauke on Monday that all farmers who had supplied the maize in the current crop marketing season had been paid.Mr Kafwabulula said this during his ongoing inspection of the maize purchase in Eastern province.Government has given FRA a target of buying one million tonnes of maize in the 2020 crop marketing season, which opened on July 1, 2020.The exercise is scheduled to close on October 31 this year.Mr Kafwabulula assured that his institution would go beyond the crop marketing season closing date as long as there would still be farmers willing to sell their maize.“We will only close once the last farmer has delivered their last bag. This is about national food security and if we follow the book too much the country might be insecure as far as food security is concerned.“In this type of business you have to exercise flexibility and there’s no way we can close when farmers still want to supply their maize to FRA. We will not be disturbed by the closing date and we have done it before,” Mr Kafwabulula said.He said FRA would not be bureaucratic and too stringent because the issue was about food security.Meanwhile, Mr Kafwabulula announced that FRA would continue to establish annual mobile satellite depots in the maize production areas.This was after some farmers in Petauke explained their challenges regarding ferrying their maize to FRA depots and other crop markets located in far places from their homes.
Mr Kafwabulula told the farmers that Government has given him mandate to set up mobile satellite depots in areas where the farmers were willing to sell their maize to FRA