FRA bags over 90 percent of the targeted maize in Muchinga
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.