State can save $200 million on grain

GOVERNMENT could save about US$200 million if it reduced its statutory grain reserves (SGR) from 500,000 metric tonnes to 350,000 metric tonnes with five months lead time.
Zambia recorded about 2.4 million metric tonnes of maize for the 2017-18 agricultural season.
Indaba Agriculture Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) senior research associate Auckland Kuteya said the changing consumption patterns in food and increasing private sector capacity have led to reduced dependency on maize as a staple food.
Mr Kuteya said because of the changing parameters, Government should conduct periodic reviews of the SGR.
“Since 2014, the SGR have remained unchanged at 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. This estimate was based on population, and a monthly national consumption requirement of 100,000 metric tonnes and a lead time of five months,” he said in an interview on Friday

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