The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has to date managed to buy 280,000 metric tonnes of maize in 2016 as strategic food reserves, leaving a shortfall of 220,000 tonnes.
To this effect, the agency is appealing to local stakeholders to sell off their maize to meet the deficit.
FRA procurement coordinator Kelvin Mukosayi said in a notice that the agency intends to buy 220,000 tonnes grade A white maize, which is non-genetically modified organism.
“The agency issued a gazette notice for the purchase of a minimum of 50,000 metric tonnes of maize during the 2016 crop-marketing season from June 1 to October 31, 2016 subject to market dynamics.
“However, the agency has not met the maize purchase target. In order to meet the shortfall, local suppliers such as grain traders, commercial farmers and any firms or persons that have maize stocks are hereby invited to make offers for the sale of 220,000 tonnes of maize to the agency,” Mr Mukosayi said.
He, however, said the minimum quantity which an individual supplier should have to be considered for a contract is 100,000 for 50 kilogramme bags, which translates into 5,000 tonnes maize.
Under the requirements, suppliers are expected to meet the specified grade, quality, colour and moisture content among other characteristics.
Mr Mukosayi also said the suppliers will be requested to deliver the maize to the nearest designated FRA depots.
“Modalities to ensure that the [characteristics and specifications] are met will be provided in the individual contracts to be signed by the agency,” he said.
FRA has also assured the small -scale farmers that the substantive 2016 crop-marketing programme will continue in the usual manner; hence they should continue delivering maize to FRA satellite depots.