THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has announced continuous supply of maize to the drought affected areas of the country through the implementation of its strategic relief programmes aimed at making maize available to vulnerable households in the affected areas.

According to the Agency the development is to actualize emergency response measures following the declaration of a drought emergency by President Hakainde Hichilema.

FRA said it will continue implementing the Community Sales Programme in drought affected areas in order to make maize available to the vulnerable communities to ensure sustained domestic and national food security.

“In this regard, stakeholders responsible for identifying vulnerable households in the affected areas are reminded to be ensuring that only genuine beneficiaries are listed on the beneficiaries lists that are submitted to FRA for the intended beneficiaries to be sold maize,” said Mwansa Chamatete FRA Executive Director

Chamatete said to sustain the programme for a longer timeframe, only one fifty kilogramme bag of maize is being sold per household per month at a price of K330.00.

“As this exercise continues, the Agency wishes to state that there shall be no unnecessary movement of maize from one beneficiary district or identified community locations to the other, in order to prevent negative vices such as fraud, theft, trading among others.”

Meanwhile movements of maize shall only be undertaken for redistribution from surplus to deficit areas for authorised purposes.

Chamatete said the affected communities are advised to avoid panic buying for hoarding in order to rationalise and sustain the utilisation of these stocks from the National Strategic Food Reserves.

“The Agency will closely work with the local leadership, Zambia Police Service and other Government wings to ensure there is no abuse of this well intended intervention.”

Meanwhile, the Agency wishes to inform the public that in addition to the Community Sales Programme currently being implemented, other strategic interventions aimed at ensuring sustained national food security are being implemented.

“These include:the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, maize sales to hospitals, hospices, boarding schools, correctional facilities, and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit among others.”

In addition, the Agency is also selling maize to Zambia National Service and Zambia Correctional Services aimed at making affordable mealie meals readily available on the local market. These measures will continue being implemented until when the situation normalises.

“The continuous implementation of the above interventions among others will positively impact national food security and result in sustained domestic and national food security.”