The Food Reserve Agency has revised upwards its maize purchase price of K65 per 50Kg bag for this year’s crop marketing season to K70, representing an increment of only K5.
According to a press release issued, Friday, FRA board chairperson Joe Hantebe Simachela announced that the agency has increased the maize purchase price from the original offering price of K65 to K70 per 50Kg bag.
This follows an outcry from various stakeholders since the agency announced their proposed maize purchase price of K65 last Friday.
Simachela stated that the outcry necessitated further consultations to review the maize purchase price.
“The announcement of the price of Maize at K65 per 50kg bag specifically received mixed reactions from various stakeholders, which necessitated further consultations,” Simachela stated.
He stated that in announcing the revised price of K70, the FRA took into account several factors such as budgetary constraints.
“The board and management of FRA have in consideration of the price band emanating from the analytical process of price determination employed by the agency decided to review the price of Maize upwards with consideration of the following factors: that price should be within the confines of the 2018 national budgetary allocation to FRA; should not pressure fund releases from the Treasury,” Simachela stated.
He explained that the FRA was also cognizant of not putting too much pressure on mealie-meal prices, which will directly be affected should maize prices be adjusted too high.
“That the price should strive to mitigate all possible negative risks that could fuel consumer dissatisfaction on the price of the final product, mealie meal; should not disadvantage other market players,” Simachela added.
He reiterated that the FRA intends to carry out purchases of its usual 500,000 metric tonnes of maize for strategic reserves once the market opens next Wednesday.
“The FRA being one of the players in the market intends to purchase only 500,000 metric tonnes of maize, representing 21 per cent of the 2018 national maize crop forecast of 2.3 million metric tonnes, therefore, the above prices are FRA prices and not government floor prices, hence farmers are encouraged to negotiate for better prices with other market players who may buy the larger quantity of the what has been produced,” explained Simachela.
“I would like to remind the farmers in the targeted areas to continue to prepare as guided in the 2018 crop marketing modalities and the marketing season still opens on 1st August, 2018.”
Meanwhile, the FRA’s prices of other cash crops as earlier announced will remain the same.
Cash crops will also include 10,000 tonnes of soya beans pegged at K130 per 50Kg bag, while 2,100 tonnes of Paddy Rice will be bought at K70 per 40Kg bag.