The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has revealed that it has paid K1.4 billion for 477,500.75 metric tons of white maize from small-scale farmers in rural areas.

This was confirmed by the Agency in a press release.

The Agency also revealed that this is equivalent to a total of 9,550,015 x 50kg bags of maize (9,550,015 x 50kg bags of maize) and that this represents a 95% achievement rate (95.5 per cent).

John Chipandwe, the FRA’s public relations coordinator, said the agency has paid out over K1.2 billion to small-scale farmers, accounting for 85 per cent of the total K1.4 billion.

He also said the agency is targeting to buy a total of five hundred thousand metric tonnes of grade-A white maize during this year’s crop marketing exercise.

“The cost of the white maize purchased [477,500.75] so far is K1, 432,502,250.00 out of which K1, 211,521,500 has been funded to pay farmers,” Mr Chipandwe said.

“Given the latest purchase figure, the Agency is optimistic that it will soon reach its planned target and will continue buying crops for Zambia’s national strategic food reserves up to the close of marketing season which is 31 October.”

“The cost of the white maize purchased (477,500.75) so far is valued at one billion, four hundred and thirty-two million, five hundred and two thousand, two hundred and fifty kwacha (K1, 432,502,250.00) out of which one billion, two hundred and eleven million, five hundred and twenty-one thousand, five hundred kwacha (K1, 211,521,500) representing eighty-five per cent has been funded to pay farmers,” concluded the statement