100,000 tonnes of maize released

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THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has so far released 100,000 tonnes of maize on the market following Government’s directive to avert the escalating mealie-meal prices.

FRA chairman Guy Robinson said the agency currently has about 800,000 tonnes of maize in the reserves, which is enough to meet the demand.

Mr Robinson said the agency will continue to off-load the commodity to millers, vulnerable communities to assist with food and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

He said FRA is not responsible for the escalating mealie-meal prices on the market as the agency has been releasing enough maize in line with the targets given by Government.

Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock directed FRA to release a monthly ration of 50,000 metric tonnes on the market.

A 25kg bag of breakfast mealie-meal is currently selling between KR56 and KR60 which Government has described as expensive.
Mr Robinson said in an interview in Lusaka on Monday that the agency will continue to carry out audits and upgrading the data to ensure that the commodity is available.

Meanwhile, FRA says it has adequately secured maize following the improvement of storage facilities and repossessing of storage facilities that were previously leased out.