The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is on track meet this year’s maize target, amid qualms over purchasing price with farmers across the country.
Chola Kafwabulula, Executive Director of FRA said the agency will meet its goal of purchasing 10 million bags of 50 kilograms of maize by October 31, 2017.
Kafwabulula told ZNBC News that the agency has already bought 7 million bags at 4 hundred and 23 million kwacha representing 70 percent of the total target.
He said the highest purchase is from Eastern Province where the agency purchased 1 point 9 million bags followed by Southern Province with 1 million bags.
Kafwabulula has since appealed to farmers who are still holding on to their Maize to release their produce as the Crop marketing season is coming to an end in the next four weeks.
The development comes at the back drop of farmers expressing discontent over the buying price of the agency.
Farmers across the country have complained about this year’s maize price, a K25 reduction from last season’s offer of K85 per 50 kilogramme bag.
Several stakeholders have challenged the set price and called upon the President President Edgar to hike the marketing season price from K60 per 50 kilogramme bag, set by FRA.
Farmers recently threatened to abandon maize production in the next farming season citing low purchasing price by FRA.
However, government has already pleaded with farmers not to abandon maize production due to low purchasing prices by FRA.
Julius Shawa, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of agriculture is on record pleading with farmers to opt to export the commodity and contribute to the country’s economy.
The PS said boycotting maize production would not be the best solution because maize is the country’s staple food.