NFRA starts maize purchases Monday

NFRA starts maize purchases Monday

The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) says it will start next Monday buying maize, targeting 82 000 metric tonnes (MT).

But the agency has conceded that there is need to diversify its resource base to better function as a strategic grain reserve (SGR) amid weakening capacity.

Some of the NFRA grain reserves

Addressing the media at NFRA Kanengo Silos in Lilongwe yesterday, NFRA chief executive officer George Macheka said the agency has received a K22 billion injection from Treasury for this financial year.

Speaking in the company of board chairperson Denis Kalekeni, he said the State-owned agency is pondering engaging donors for support while increasing its existing commercial activities to diversify its resource base.

Said Macheka: “The agency is ready to commence maize buying in all its seven depots with effect from Monday, 13th May, 2024.

“At least, 82 000 metric tonnes [MT] of grain is expected to be aggregated through various procurement modalities and funding windows.”

NFRA has capacity to store over 300 000MT of maize with a requirement to have a minimum of 260 000MT at any given time to properly play its functions of providing the staple food for either emergency response or maize price stabilisation.

At the current farm gate price of K650 per kilogramme, a 300 000MT reserve requirement would need at least a K169 billion allocation.

Macheka said NFRA in collaboration with the Megafarms Unit will sign contracts with the megafarmers that will produce in winter or already produced in the ending farming season.

The agency anticipates more demand for such supplies following President Lazarus Chakwera’s declaration of a State of Disaster in 23 of the country’s 28 districts that were affected by dry spells.

NFRA works as a maize reserve to supply Admarc for price stabilisation and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs for relief distribution to food insecure households.

The post NFRA starts maize purchases Monday first appeared on Nation Online.

The post NFRA starts maize purchases Monday appeared first on Nation Online.