NATIONAL Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Sumbawanga Zone Office has targeted to purchase 27,000 tonnes of maize in Rukwa and Katavi regions during this purchasing season.
NFRA Sumbawanga Zone Manager, Mr Marwa Range said a kilogramme of maize is sold at 800/- in urban and 750/- in rural setting during this purchasing season being an increase of 10 per cent compared to last season.
The food agency last season purchased a kilo of maize at 650/- in urban and 600/- in rural setting in both Rukwa and Katavi regions.
NFRA Sumbawanga Zone serves both Rukwa and Katavi regions. Mr Range told the ‘Daily News’ on Tuesday that the maize purchasing season officially started on June 22nd, this year.
Giving a break down, Mr Range further explained that food agency targets to purchase 20,000 kilogrammes of maize in Rukwa and 7,000 tonnes in Katavi.
He said in Rukwa, the maize purchasing centres are Laela Township in Sumbawanga District Council and Sumbawanga Town in Sumbawanga Municipality.
The small purchasing centres are Mkombo, Mwimbi, Matai in Kalambo District and Namanyete in Nkasi District. Other in the list is Mtowisa purchasing center in Lake Rukwa Rift Valley Basin.
He went ahead to explain that in Katavi Region there are two main purchasing centers naming Kibaoni in Mpimbwe Council and Mpanda town in Mpanda municipality.
According to Mr Rage, last season the food agency purchased 1,025 tonnes only in Rukwa Region due to poor harvest.
While adjourning the 11th session of the 12th National Assembly, Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa said the government through NFRA has set aside 320bn/- to buy grains in effort to maintain food security in the country.
Equally the premier urged citizens at family level to spend their farm produce including maize and rice with caution to avoid hunger.
“I, therefore, direct the Minister for Agriculture to supervise procurement of grains produce on time and efficiently from the allocated money,” Mr Majaliwa said.
He said the government has been improving food storage infrastructure by prioritizing warehouses and cold room constructions, to preserve both nonperishable and perishable food such as cereal, rice, wheat as well as vegetable and fruits respectively before getting to consumers.