FOOD Reserve Agency executive director Chola Kafwabulula says the impact of COVID-19 on the agency in terms of buying maize from farmers was very minimal.

In an interview, Kafwabulula said the agency actually exceeded its target during the peak of the pandemic.

“The effect was very minimal. First and foremost, you know that we buy our maize from certain depots. Certain depots are not buildings, it’s an open field, it’s an open place. So we buy this maize in the sun. Maybe that would have helped but the effect was very minimal. And if you remember, we recorded very high purchases, we bought 947,000 metric tons of maize. We exceeded our target,” said Kafwabulula.

“So I didn’t see any effect as far as purchasing was concerned. Maybe the farmers where they are in the farming and growing of maize maybe, I can’t [know] about that because we just buy the grains. So if you talk about purchasing, there was very minimal effect because we exceeded our target. So I can’t speak on behalf of farmers in terms of the growing of maize. I can only talk about FRA buying from farmers. We buy maize from certain depots which are open, when it’s in the sun, it’s very hot you know so we didn’t feel any effects.”