NFRA Sumbawanga zone to buy 50,000 tonnes of maize

RUKWA: TONNAGES of maize that will be purchased by The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Sumbawanga Zone Office will buy 50,000 metric tonnes of maize in this harvest season almost double the amount bought in the previous season.

The Manager of the NFRA Sumbawanga Zone which serves Rukwa and Katavi Regions, Mr Marwa Range said some 4.5bn/- will be spent for buying the grains.

He said initially, the food agency targeted to buy 27,000 tonnes of maize when the purchasing season started in June this year, the same amount bought in the previous season, but until Monday this week it had already purchased 28,000 tonnes of maize at the cost of 2.5bn/-.

“Twenty-two thousand tonnes of maize have increased, that means during this maize purchasing season about 50,000 tonnes will purchased in the zone,” he added.

According to Mr Range, the agency will purchase 40,000 tonnes of maize in Rukwa Region and 10,000 tones in Katavi Region.

He further explained that in Rukwa, a kilogramme of maize is sold at 900/- in urban and 800/- in rural setting during this purchasing season.

While in Katavi Region, a kilogramme of maize is sold at 950/- in Mpanda maize buying centre and Kibaoni buying centre at 900/-.

Last season, NFRA purchased a kilo of maize at 650/- in urban and 600/- in rural setting in both Rukwa and Katavi Regions.

He said in Rukwa, the maize purchasing centres are Laela Township in Sumbawanga District Council and Sumbawanga Town in Sumbawanga Municipality.

The mini purchasing centres are Mkombo, Mwimbi, Matai in Kalambo District and Namanyere in Nkasi District. Other in the list include Mtowisa purchasing centre in Lake Rukwa Rift Valley Basin.

He said in Katavi Region, there are two main purchasing centres, 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 prioritising warehouses and cold room constructions, to preserve both nonperishable and perishable food such as cereal, rice, wheat as well as vegetables and fruits respectively before getting to consumers.

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