By Tione Andsen – Mana

Natural Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) anticipates buying 22,000 metric tonnes of maize from the K12 billion received from government.

NFRA Board Chairperson, Denis Kalekeni disclosed this Friday during Media briefing on the update on Procurement of Maize for Replenishment of the National Strategic Grain Reserves in Lilongwe.

He said the Agency has so far received K6 billion through Ministry of Agriculture and they are anticipating procuring about 11, 000 metric tonnes of Maize.

“The agency issued a public notice that it had opened the market for procurement of Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) maize with effect from May 29, 2023 and that market would remain open up to September 30, 2023 or upon reaching targeted quantity, subject to market dynamics,” Kalekeni said.

The Board Chairperson said the procurement of SGR maize of this year open to all willing suppliers a minimum quantity of one metric tonne, so long as the maize meets the agency’s quality of specifications.

He said the buying price was fixed at K 550.00 per kilogramme in all NFRA depots.

“Since the commencement of the procurement on May 29, 2023, a total of 1,008.46 metric tonnes of maize has been purchased. Purchases have this far been recorded in Blantyre and Lilongwe.  No receipts have been recorded in the North as the region usually harvest later than the South and Centre,” Kalekeni explained.

Acting Chief Executive officer for NFRA, David Loga said Luchenza and Mzuzu SGR would soon be operational after going through some maintenance works.

He said the two SGR were undergoing some maintenance after their faulty conveyor belts have been fixed.

The Agency has about 57,500 metric of maize in stock and with the current procurement anticipated to yield a total 22,000 metric.

The SGR stock is expected to increase 79, 500 metric and World Bank has released US$ 10 million for procurement of additional maize from the market.

The additional funding is expected to secure another 21,000 metric of maize and the SGR stock should reach as much as 100,500 metric tonnes.



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