By Ruth Chayinda
Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo has directed the Food Reserve Agency -FRA- to enter the market early and provide a decent market for small scale farmers ahead of the maize marketing season.
Mr. Katambo said this in Lusaka today during the unveiling of the FRA board consisting of 11 members from the private and public sector.
He said Government expects the board and management of FRA to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to provide a ready market to small-scale farmers, especially in remote areas.
Mr. Katambo said the board and management will be expected to oversee the reduction in overhead and operational costs of the agency so that the maize purchase is done efficiently.
He has directed the board to immediately carry out an assessment of the cost structures of the agency in line with cabinet management circulars, saying it will ensure government realises value for the money.
The Minister also urged the Board and Management of FRA to provide strategic direction and policy guideline which will support FRA in effectively executing its mandate of managing the national strategic food reserves.
And Board Chairperson Kelvin Hambwezya said the board and management will quickly engage key stakeholders in the sector so that the agency can arrive at a competitive economic price for the farmers.
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