Grain silos expert National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has dumped plans to buy maize in its 2017 restocking exercise through the tender system, instead opting for a free-for-all system that will give an opportunity for more farmers to sell their maize to it.
The NFRA had initially announced its preference for the tender system, which usually involves its opting for few farmers with large production capacities.
But during a press briefing at the organisation’s premises at Kanengo, in Lilongwe’s heavy industrial area on Friday, NFRA chief executive officer Nasikuku Saukila said the change of plans came about after overwhelming tender submissions were received, a reflection that many people have maize they are willing to sell.
“We just want to level the playing field, so anybody who has the maize of any quantity and can ferry it to our depots, is free to do so from Monday 25th September, 2017. The process will be on a first- come-first-served basis,” Saukila stated.
He added that the NFRA has K5.4 billion at hand for the purchase of maize at a flat price of K130 per Kilogram or K130 000 per metric tonne at its three depots –at Kanengo, Kazomba, in Mzimba, and Bangula,
The NFRA is a government agency with a mandate to purchase and store grain for sell at an affordable price when the private sector fails to meet the market signals.