By Charles Musonda
THE Food Reserve Agency has advised farmers to combine their maize production with soya beans growing to gain extra income.
FRA Executive Director Chola Kafwabulula has since disclosed that the Agency has already bought 66,000 bags of soya beans worth K8.5 million in the just ended 2016/2017 crop marketing season.
“I want to urge our farmers, those who were complaining about the price of maize that it was too low this season at K60, that we are buying soya beans at K130.
“Farmers who feel that they got a raw deal may wish to do both maize and soya beans and they are assured of the market by FRA,” Mr. Kafwabulula told journalists in Chadiza.
He said in the previous marketing season farmers were exploited when FRA was not on board and the price of soya beans had really dropped. “I just want to give them hope and assurance that we will buy soya beans across the country and depending on market fundamentals, the price may even go up.
“It is something they may take up without neglecting maize, which is a staple food and we need it for national food security and household food security.
“It would not make a lot of sense for a farmer not to grow maize.”
Mr. Kafwabulula revealed that a certain client had already approached FRA with the intention of buying the entire soya beans quantity from the Agency for export.
“He wants to buy the entire quantity for export but we don’t have a price yet for that soya beans.
“We are just waiting for the price from our principals.”
He said since this was the first time that FRA was buying soya beans, the Agency did not have special bags for soya beans.