Grain silos expert National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has announced a free-for-all supply of maize in its 2017 maize restocking exercise shelving the tender system which was announced earlier.
NFRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nasikuku Saukila made the announcement in Lilongwe yesterday during a press briefing aimed at updating the media on the restocking exercise.
He said the change has come following an overwhelming tender submissions showing that many people have maize which they are ready 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 said the tender system, has also been shelved to save time of scrutinizing the tenders and that some tenders were showing readiness to supply the entire volume required by the grain reserve agency.
“If we are to offer a tender to one supplier for instance as some tenders were showing, then the others would suffer because they would have no market for their maize but in this way, even smallholder farmers stand a chance,” he said.
Saukila announced 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; Kanengo in Lilongwe, Kazomba in Mzimba and Bangula in Nsanje.
NFRA earlier opened bids on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10 September, 2017 when it announced that in its restocking exercise, it will receive maize from Admarc and direct procurement through tender.
On the status of the storage facilities, Saukila said although there is need to renovate some silos; the space which is available can accommodate all the stock required.
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.