The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) has given a nod to the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to procure 50,000 metric tons for the Strategic Grain Reserves.
This follows government’s allocation of MK12 billion to NFRA to be used in the procurement of the maize.
Speaking in an interview, NFRA Board Chairperson Dennis kalekeni said the MK12 billion will be used to procure 50,000 metric tons of maize from 185 farmer cooperatives and associations.
“I can confirm that PPDA has given us a go ahead to start purchasing the maize. Since as NFRA we don’t procure maize directly for storage we had to seek consent from PPDA so that we procure for the strategic grain reserves,” said Kalekeni.
Reacting to the news, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) Agriculture expert Kingdom Kwapata has described the move as a timely boost to local farmers.
“This will help farmers to generate revenue. By procuring from local farmers through cooperatives and Associations, farmers will be able to realise revenue as they will be more organised and bargain for better prices,” said Kwapata.
Kwapata has since urged farmers to organise themselves so that they benefit from this move.
Last week ADMARC Board Chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi told the local media that the grain trader has put on hold its plans to sell maize to Zimbabwe and has since opted to sell its maize to the government of Malawi through NFRA.
Since assuming office President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has on several occasions reiterated his commitment to ensure that no person in the country dies of hunger.