Following the declaration of the drought situation in Zambia as a national disaster by the Republican President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, various response mechanisms to address the situation have been put in place through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

In a statement today, FRA Executive Director MWANSA CHAMATETE said Pursuant to Section 22 (1); (2) (a), (b) and (c) of the Food Reserve Act No. 6 of 2020 Government through the Ministry of Agriculture has with immediate effect authorised FRA to start buying non-genetically modified grade A white maize from any individual or organisation on the local market.

Mr. Chamatete said any individual or organisation with white maize can deliver the commodity to the nearest FRA Main Holding Depot countrywide and payment will be made within the shortest possible time upon processing of documentation.

He said the Agency (FRA) is buying a 50-kilogramme bag of maize at K330.00 or K6,600.00 per metric tonne.

Mr. Chimatete said all FRA Main Holding Depots countrywide are now open, and ready to receive maize that meets acceptable quality and standards as per law required from interested parties.

He said the Agency is also buying non-genetically modified white maize on the Zambia Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) platform.

The FRA said ZAMACE is an online, transparent market place for the trading of agricultural commodities, certification of storage sites, grading and valuation of stored commodities under warehouse receipts, as well as an enabler for the financial sector to finance warehouse receipts.

Mr. Chimatete said it is an exclusively mandated entity prescribed to carry out this mandate under the Agricultural Credits Act No. 35 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.

He said ZAMACE membership is open to individuals or corporate entities looking to participate in the commodities market in Zambia and interested suppliers wishing to transact on this platform are required to follow the set procedure on the platform and the terms and conditions are set by the exchange rules.

Mr. Chimatete noted that the above response measures are supplementary interventions in addition to the annual crop marketing season which entails the buying of crops from small scale farmers aimed at replenishing the national strategic food reserves to ensure sustained national food security.

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