By SIMON MUNTEMBA
GOVERNMENT through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has increased the maize purchase price for a 50kg bag from K110 to K150.
The FRA has also fixed the price of a 50kg bag of soya beans at K500 and paddy rice at K200 for a 40kg bag.
FRA board chairperson, Kelvin Hambwezya, said they would this year buy between 500, 000 and 1, 000, 000 tonnes of maize.
Mr Hambwezya said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday the white maize which was bought at K110 last year would be K150 per 50 kg this year.
“The agency intends to purchase three commodities as follows: white maize – at least 500, 000 metric tonnes, soya bean – 50, 000 metric tonnes and paddy rice – 10, 000 metric tonnes,” he said.
He said the country has produced 3, 620, 244 tonnes of maize, an achievement of 16 percent increase from the previous season figure of 3, 387, 469 tonnes.
He added: “The country was food secured.”
Mr Hambwezya attributed the bumper harvest to the hard working efforts of small-scale and commercial farmers who ensured that the country was food secure.
“Further, we appreciate Government efforts to minimise threats such as the attacks from the fall army worm, invasion of the red locusts that could have undermined food production, crop yields, and indeed food security of the country,” he said.
He said the FRA was committed to continuing its role of guaranteeing the national food security and also the provision of market access to small-scale farmers.