25 FRA sheds closed due to lack of business


GOVERNMENT has closed 25 Food Reserve Agency (FRA) satellite depots in Western Province due to lack of business.
Some of the satellite depots are Mambolomoka, Lilonda, Kaanja, Katongola, Matebele, Mulele and Sioma in Shangombo; Sikongo, Tuuwa and Sishekanu in Kalabo and Ngimbu and Nkulo in Lukulu.
Western Province permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba confirmed in a statement issued yesterday that since the maize marketing season opened on July 2, 2013, the satellite depots have not purchased any maize, rice or sorghum.
Mr Mwamba attributed the lack of business to last season’s poor rainfall pattern which affected the crop harvest.
He said the province experienced crop failure which was severe in places like Shangombo and Kalabo.
Mr Mwamba said the FRA has bought about 106,000 of 50 kilogramme bags of maize from the province and that the current stock position of maize is now 187,540, including the Sesheke stocks.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwamba said rice was selling at higher prices than the recommended floor price of K65.
“The price of rice was doing well and fetching higher than the recommended floor price of K65. The pad rice was fetching as high as K140 per 50 kilogramme bag in Mongu,” he said.
Mr Mwamba also said the province has received 51,857 out of the 60,620 basal fertiliser allocated to the province.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has done a commendable job since the D Compound fertilisers arrived in the province before the onset of the rains.
Mr Mwamba however said the province has not yet received maize, sorghum and rice seed and that the seeds and top dressing fertiliser (Urea) are expected to be delivered soon.