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The Food Reserve Agency -FRA- has set the maize buy price at 110 Kwacha for a 50-kilogram bag.

This is the highest price since the FRA was established in 1995.
FRA Board Chairperson Joe Simachela announced the price this morning.
Mr. Simachela said the increase from last year’s price of 70 Kwacha is aimed at providing competition in view of high prices being offered by the private buyers and anticipated low maize production.
He further said FRA will only buy 300,000 metric tonnes of maize for strategic reserves.
Mr. Simachela also revealed that currently, FRA has 245,000 metric tonnes carryover stocks in storage facilities.
He also disclosed that apart from maize, the agency will only buy 4-thousand metric tonnes of Soya beans at 150 Kwacha for a 50-kilogram bag and 1,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice at 70 Kwacha for a 40-kilogram bag.
Mr. Simachela also announced that the government has already released 74.4 million kwacha for immediate payments while the rest of the 675-million Kwacha will be released periodically.
He said this is the first time that the FRA is making immediate payments to ensure farmers are paid.
And the FRA Board Chairperson has assured Zambians of adequate stocks but was quick to advise millers to stock up adequately.
He said FRA only buys for emergencies and to supply key institutions like the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and other government programs.
Meanwhile, FRA Executive Director Chola Kafwabulula said millers buy their own stocks and the agency only comes to help in specific situations when there is a shortage to cushion prices.
Mr. Kafwabulula said FRA will set up 600 depots in 105 districts for the marketing season.
Zambia’s maize production this year had been forecasted to drop by 16 percent from 2.3 million metric tonnes to 2 million metric tons owing to prolonged dry spells experienced in the last rain season.

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