Treasury lost KR3.8bn through FRA – IAPRI

THE Treasury has lost about KR3.8 billion through the Food Reserve Agency in the last three years, reveals the Zambia Agriculture Policy Research Institute (IAPRI).

Presenting a report on fundamental causes and costs of high mealie-meal prices yesterday, IAPRI research associate Auckland Kuteya said FRA spent about KR108 on one 50-kilogramme bag of maize.

He said assumptions for a per 50kg bag of maize were purchase KR65; transport costs KR15; storage/handling costs KR10 financing at 20 per cent representing KR13 and cost of storage rate representing 7 per cent or KR5.

Kuteya said the government must create an enabling environment for informal maize marketing and processing to reduce price instability.

He said the government had also created a problem by buying 80 per cent of maize from the farmers.

“The government has created a problem for the country because retailers are able to keep prices so high despite subsidies due to lack of competition from the informal sector.