26 July 2014

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State loses $4m in maize wastage

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From DARLINGTON MWENDABAI in Chadiza
GOVERNMENT is losing about US$4 million annually in maize wastage due to lack of storage facilities in the country, Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska has said.
Dr Msiska said the country is this year expecting a bumper harvest, hence the need to think ahead by building more storage facilities to avoid any more maize wastage.

He said this when he toured the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) shed in Chadiza last week during the tour of Eastern Province.
“As Government, we are losing about US$4 million annually in maize wastage each farming season due to lack of storage facilities,” he said.
He said there are indications that the country will record a bumper harvest this year but what is worrying is the capacity of most storage facilities in the country.
Dr Msiska said districts should learn how to plan to avoid wasting maize each farming season.
He was, however, disappointed to find unfinished slabs at Chadiza’s FRA sheds whose foundation was constructed in the 1990s.
Meanwhile Dr Msiska, who also visited Lundazi, said Government is considering setting up a milling plant as opposed to exporting maize.
“It does not make sense for Lundazi to be taking their maize outside the district [and] later buy it as mealie-meal as finished product when this can be done within the district,” he said. 
Earlier, Eastern Province deputy permanent secretary Zachariah Luhanga said although maize wastage is recorded in Chadiza, other areas such as Vubwi and Katete have also been experiencing the same situation.
Meanwhile, FRA has started constructing two sheds with capacity of 5,000 tonnes at a cost of over K2 million each in Katete.
FRA has also embarked on the construction of storage facilities with the capacity of 350 tonnes at a cost of K1.4 million each in the same area.
FRA marketing assistance officer Josephine Phiri told the delegates that the storage facilities were done in addition to three existing sheds. The facilities are expected to be completed this year.

 

Last modified on Friday, 18 April 2014 01:24

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