By Mwenya Mofya
The National Union for Small Scale Farmers in Zambia has pointed that the 110 kwacha set for buying a 50 kilogram bag of white maize by the food reserve agency will only benefit farmers who accessed the farmers input support program in the last farming season.
The Agency has set a target of purchasing 300,000 metric tons of white maize, a reduction from the 500,000 metric tons set in the last marketing season, of which only over 174 thousand metric tons was purchased.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, FRA Board Chairman, Joe Simachela says the government has released 74.4 million kwacha from the 675 million kwacha needed for the purchase of 3 crops of which the marketing season will end on 31st October 2019.
Mr. Simachela further says the agency will purchase 4000 metric tonnes of soya beans at 150 kwacha per 50 kilogram bag while 1,000 metric tons of paddy rice will be purchased at 70 kwacha per 40-kilogram bag.
But Union Director-General Dr. Frank Kayula notes that the private sector is offering prices between 120 kwacha and 150 kwacha per 50 kilogram bag further urging FRA to address the issue of not paying farmers on time.