LUSAKA, May 31 (Xinhua) — Zambia’s food reserve agency on Monday assured that the country was food secure and will remain so in the foreseeable future.
Kelvin Hambwezya, Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Chairperson said the 3.6 million tons of maize produced in the 2020/2021 season and the 840,000 carryover stock from the previous season means that the country was fully food secure.
“This demonstrates that Zambia is food secure and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. We are sitting on huge stocks of maize,” he told reporters during a press briefing.
The agency, he said, will soon enter into the market to start purchasing maize produced by farmers in the 2020/2021 season for strategic reserves.
The agency, apart from purchasing maize, will also purchase soya beans and paddy rice.
The agency will be buying a 50-kilogram bag of maize at 150 Zambian Kwacha (about 6.7 U.S. dollars) while a 50-kilogram bag of soya beans will be bought at 500 Zambian Kwacha, with a 50-kilogram bag of rice at 200 Zambian Kwacha.
He said the new price at which maize will be purchased during the current marketing season was a 40 percent increase from the previous marketing season.
According to him, the price of maize was competitive and good economic value for smallholder farmers who have been receiving subsidized farming inputs from the government.
He has since urged millers to procure enough maize from the farmers for their production as the agency will not be offloading any maize meant for reserves and for emergency purposes. Enditem