This report provides highlights of some of the major achievements recorded by the Agency in the year ended 31st December 2017.
1.0 CROP PURCHASES FOR THE 2017 CROP MARKETING SEASON
- The Agency facilitated the crop marketing program in the period 1st August, to 31st October, 2017. A total of 796 satellite depots were approved country wide.
- The Agency procured a total of 517,959 metric tons of white maize (3.6 per cent above target) at a cost of K621,550,800.00 and 3,240 metric tonnes of soya beans (16% of target) amounting to K8,423,350.00. There were no purchases of paddy rice recorded despite opening of markets in supplying areas.
- Payment of farmers commenced on 30th August, 2017 and a total of K457,491,966.00 (72.6 per cent) was disbursed as at 31st December, 2017 leaving a balance of K172,467,234.00 (27.4 per cent) of the total value of the purchased crop.
- As at the date of this report all farmers that supplied maize to the Agency had been cleared following release of funds by Treasury.
2.0 DISTRIBUTION OF CROP MARKETING REQUISITES
The Agency timely distributed and prepositioned key crop marketing requisites which included
- empty grain bags,
- twine, scales,
- polythene sheets,
- fumigants, and
- tarpaulins in readiness for the program.
- This also included the service and calibration of platform scales and fabrication of grain sieves.
3.0 CROP QUALITY ASSURANCE
- The Agency maintained stock losses to below 1 per cent which was lower than the industry allowable loss of 5 per cent.
- The Agency implemented an internal fumigation programme out of which significant amount of funds were saved.
- 12 members of staff were trained and examined in fumigation practice by Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) at Mt. Makulu, Chilanga.
- The Agency further engaged ZARI in the inspection and verification rotten stocks and a total of 149.45 metric tons of maize and 159.12 metric tons of paddy rice was destroyed. This represented 0.02 per cent of maize.
4.0 DEVELOPMENT OF STORAGE INVESTMENT PLAN
The following are the various construction projects that the Agency is undertaking in line with the storage investment plan of the Agency;
- Construction of 7 grain silos – CAMCE silo project.
The draft credit agreement which was earlier approved by the Export and Import Bank of China still remained un-concluded during the quarter. The facility was for a total sum of USD210 million and was submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration.
- Construction of 98 sheds – ADAS shed project
The Ministry of Finance on 1st December, 2017, informed Management that that project was approved.
- Rehabilitation of the 5 disused grain silo
- Ndola grain silo – Bwana Mkubwa
The rehabilitation of the Ndola silos at Bwana Mkubwa depot commenced in June 2015 and the works are currently in-progress and stands at 75% complete. The installation of the mechanical equipment was complete, while the electrical works and water proofing works for the silos were in progress. The contract is still valid up to 23rd February, 2018
- Monze and Chisamba grain silos
The rehabilitation of the two grain silos are included in the CAMCE silo Projects.
- Kabwe Grain Silos
Food Reserve Agency Management made a fresh request for funding for the rehabilitation of this silo, so that the funds can be included in the 2018 budget. The funds for this project have not been included in the 2018 National Budget
- Kitwe grain silos
Management wrote to the Association of Consulting Engineers of Zambia to recommend to the Agency a number of consulting firms that could be approached for consideration for possible engagement to undertake the technical investigations of the Kitwe Silo facility.
5.0 REVIEW OF THE FOOD RESERVE ACT
- The Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Reserve Agency conducted stakeholder consultations on the proposed amendments the Food Reserve Act, Cap 225 of the Laws of Zambia in order to ensure buy-in from all the stakeholders from the 20th to 25th November 2017 in all the provinces and on 6th December a national consultative workshop was held in Lusaka and submissions were received from the stakeholders.
- The Technical Committee was appointed by the Permanent Secretary on 27th December 2017 and the sittings commenced in January 2018.
10.0 MAIZE SALES
- Government authorised the Agency to offload Maize for sale on the local market and exports. By the end of the year, the Agency sold a total of 127,532.96 metric tons out of which 82,114.5 metric tons were local sales and 45,418.14 metric tons under exports.
- The local sales were made to millers (GTAZ, MAZ, FRA) and the Maize sales programme; School feeding programme under the Ministry of General Education, DMMU and community sales.
11.0 RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES THROUGH DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION UNIT (DMMU).
- In 2017, Food Reserve Agency continued to provide maize stocks for distribution to vulnerable communities under the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) for relief purposes.
- Food Reserve Agency provided maize stock to support the Home Grown School Feeding Programme under the Ministry of General Education.
12.0 SECURING OF PURCHASED CROP
- The Agency managed to secure 98.2 per cent of the stocks purchased as at 31st December, 2017.
14.0 BROADCAST OF OUR FOOD RESERVE PROGRAM
- An awareness and sensitization seminar on Agency’s crop marketing programme, for Members of Parliament (MPs) was held at Parliament Buildings on 11th July 2017.
- Participating MPs were Chairmen of Committees and others. The seminar was aired live on Parliament radio station.
- In addition the Agency drew up a programme for a massive sensitization drive on Community radio stations on the Crop Marketing Modalities for the season.
- There was also a special interview on ZNBC TV by the Executive Director on crop marketing preparations and maize price.
- The Agency organized four (4) infomercials which were broadcast on both ZNBC TV and Muvi TV. These leveraged theatre as a form of entertainment in order to put across the message that the FRA maize price was reasonable. The objective of all these was to, among others, explain the FRA rationale for the price of maize for the season which was perceived by farmers to be too low.
15.0 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- As a good corporate citizen the Agency continued to render support to selected organisations and individuals in need that had sought its assistance.
16.0 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GOVERNMENT OWNED FOOD RESERVE AGENCY PROGRAM IN THE ZAMBIAN ECONOMY.
- A total of ZMW457,491,966.00 had been paid out to 76,859 small scale farmers in 2017 by Government through FRA and this translates into “more money in the pockets”.
- Transfer of income and distribution of wealth to smallholder farmers, suppliers of marketing requisites and local transporters.
- Market facilitation and stimulation for Peasant Farmers and empowerment of rural communities.
- Ability to respond to food emergencies induced by floods/drought and other calamities through Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).
- Poverty reduction especially in rural areas.
- Earning of Foreign Exchange through exports.
- Employment Creation of over 4,000 jobs per year especially for our rural youths and women.