FRA bags over 90 per­cent of the tar­geted maize in Muchinga

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By SI­MON MUNTEMBA in Mpika.

THE Food Re­serve Agency (FRA) has pur­chased 44,430 met­ric tonnes out of the tar­geted 55, 000 met­ric tonnes from farm­ers in Muchinga Prov­ince in the on­go­ing crop-mar­ket­ing ex­er­cise.

And FRA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Chola Kafwab­u­l­ula has clar­i­fied that this year's maize price was premised on the pre­vail­ing re­gional mar­ket prices due to a bumper har­vest.

Mr Kafwab­u­l­ula dis­closed that out of the tar­geted 1,100,000 50kg bags in the Prov­ince, FRA has so far man­aged to buy1,050,587 50-kg bags.

He ex­plained that the pur­chase of 44,430 tonnes of maize at a cost of K58 mil­lion meant that FRA has reached over 90 per­cent to­wards the tar­get.

Mr Kafwab­u­l­ula ex­pressed con­fi­dence that FRA will soon reach the tar­get.

And Mr Kafwab­u­l­ula said this year FRA's maize prices was premised not on cost price but the mar­ket prices.

He ex­plained that the maize price which was K85 per 50-kg last year was pegged at K60 this year be­cause of the pre­vail­ing re­gional prices in view of the good har­vest in the re­gion.

He said Zam­bia’s tra­di­tional ex­port mar­ket coun­tries such as Zim­babwe, Malawi and Mozam­bique had also recorded good har­vests which has led to the flood­ing of the com­mod­ity on the mar­ket hence the re­duc­tion of the av­er­age price in the re­gion.

Mr Kafwab­u­l­ula added that last year pro­duc­tion was 2.8 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of maize and this year it has gone up 3.6 mil­lion, adding that the coun­try has more maize this year than last year.

"And when you have a lot of pro­duce in the re­gion, def­i­nitely the price goes down. It's a very ba­sic prin­ci­ple of sup­ply and demands," Mr Kafwab­u­l­ula said.

He said FRA did not give a floor price but of­fered its price ac­cord­ing to av­er­age mar­ket prices and ev­ery­body else who was a buyer also of­fers their price, adding that it was up to farm­ers to sell their com­modi­ties to buy­ers of their choice.

Mr Kafwab­u­l­ula

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