Agriculture Minister, Michael Katambo told Parliament in a ministerial statement that the agency will open up 796 Satellite depots.
“The agency will open up 796 depots but that is subject to the availability of maize, soya beans and paddy rice where the depots are situated,” he said.
Katambo reiterated that in an open market economy the FRA would not set ‘a flow maize price that can direct all grain traders to purchase farm produce from one source.
“It is the hope of the government that grain traders will offer competitive prices instead of exploiting small scale farmers because in the current economy, it is not FRA’s mandate to set “a maize flow price” because farmers are free to sell their produce to whoever is available,” he said.
He said that the agency is targeting to purchase about 500,000 metric tonnes of grain further assuring that the country is food secure with a cover of over 800,000 metric tonnes of maize.
“I cannot set the price at which a 50 kilogram bag of maize will be purchased because the FRA is monitoring market forces after which a price will be made known to the public, ” said Katambo.