National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has given a contract to AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX) to buy maize for the strategic grain reserves.
AHCX communications manager Thom Khanje said in an interview on Tuesday the exchange has been contracted by NFRA to purchase 32 000 metric tonnes of maize.
“We are just waiting for a final signal from NFRA as to when this should start. AHCX, however, strongly believes that purchasing maize or indeed any other agricultural commodities through the warehouse receipt system is the most efficient, cost-effective and inclusive method that can be used,” he said.
Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture chairperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said they are confident that entrusting AHCX with this responsibility will bring transparency and confidence to farmers because what happened last year was a total mess.
“Imagine trucks could queue from Lumbadzi all the way to Kanengo and we have a report in our possession on how NFRA mishandled the maize purchases,” he said.
NFRA chief executive officer Nasinuku Saukira welcomed the arrangement, saying government is supporting structured markets because they have the potential to reach many farmers.
He said: “The maize will be bought at K150 per kilogramme and this arrangement of using commodities exchange is good.”
AHCX is a subsidiary of AHL Group, formerly Auction Holdings Limited. n