FRA buys 1.2m bags of maize


THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has in the first week of the crop marketing season bought 62,000 metric tonnes (1.2 million bags) of maize from farmers and over 238,000 metric tonnes of the grain has been delivered to depots countrywide.
FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula said in an interview yesterday that the agency recorded the highest figure of maize delivered to depots in Northern Province where 50,000 metric tonnes has been transported.
In Luapula Province, 46,000 metric tonnes has been delivered to FRA depots.
“There has been an overwhelming response this crop marketing season from farmers who have been delivering their maize to our depots in readiness for the process of buying from our side to commence,” he said.
Mr Kafwabulula said FRA will start paying farmers this week.
He said payment to farmers takes some time because the maize comes from outlying posts and documentation delays the process.
He reiterated that farmers should not worry because eventually their maize will be bought at K75 per 50kg bag in line with President Lungu’s directive.
He also said that the FRA will not hesitate to increase their planned target of buying 500,000 metric tonnes of maize if shareholders advise so.
The 2014/15 crop marketing season was launched on August 17 with the buying price pegged at K70 but President Lungu upped the price to K75, a decision that has elated farmers.

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