The slow inflow of maize into the Lundazi district has prompted the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to close a total of 17 satellite depots.
According to the latest brief from the ZNFU, the FRA set out a target of purchasing 19 200 tons of white maize in the district, located in the Eastern Province, for this marketing season (from May 2016 to April 2017), but only managed to purchase 502 tons or 10 042 of the 50 kg bags produced by farmers.
Out of the 20 satellite depots in the province, only 11 were able to buy the crop from the farmers, with 4 depots barely purchasing 50 of the 50kg bags of white maize. The only depots that were kept active and where farmers could sell their maize, were the Mthwalo, Lumezi end Egg chicken depots.
The Ministry of Agriculture also recently called on all players involved in the maize trade, including FRA, to focus on meeting the domestic demand for maize and mealie meal when the government instituted measures to halt the export of maize to secure food security in the country.