I found something interesting in IVerify - Yes, the FRA had stopped buying maize until the government enabled the agency to continue buying.

Yes, the FRA had stopped buying maize until the government enabled the agency to continue buying.


After meeting the target of stocking 500 000 tonnes of maize annually, the Food Reserve Agency stopped buying maize as confirmed in a Press Statement they released. However, the government has given them permission to procure more maize, th

Verified Dec, 18 2021


On October 5th, 2021, the Candidates Facebook page published a post claiming that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) – a Government agency mandated with stabilizing food prices through a strategic grain reserve – had stopped buying maize, leaving farmers stranded. The FRA is required to purchase, store, and release equities in the market during times of food crisis and other types of disasters that cause price volatility. Zambia has been experiencing some unexpected rainfall in various regions of the country since October 1st, prompting many farmers with bags of maize stationed at depots to question the agency’s decisions.

Rating Justification

The fact-checking process has determined as true the claim that the Zambia Food Reserve Agency stopped buying maize from farmers, leaving some of them stranded. According to an official statement issued by the Food Reserve Agency on October 5, 2021, the agency had stopped purchasing maize from farmers. The agency, according to the statement, stopped buying maize from farmers because it had already met its target. On the same day the statement was released, the iVerify Team spoke with John Chipandwe, the Food Reserve Agency’s Public Relations Coordinator, who confirmed that the agency’s goal of stocking 500 000 metric tons of maize, as outlined in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, had been met. He also revealed that some bags of maize were damaged as a result of staying at the depots for too long under unfavourable weather conditions. The iVerify Team reviewed the FRA Strategic Plan for 2019-2021, which states that 500,000 metric tons of maize should be stocked annually for strategic reserves. However, on October 19, 2021, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Reuben Phiri, made a statement in Parliament stating that, rather than allowing the FRA to stop buying maize at the set limit of 500 000 metric tonnes, the Government has allowed the agency to buy more maize. FRA Board Chairperson Kelvin Hambwezya stated on October 26th, 2021, during FRA’s field day at Chongwe District Main Depot, that the agency has purchased 875 000 metric tonnes of maize and that the purchase is still ongoing. He went on to say that the buying of maize had come to a halt because farmers were bringing maize at the same time, and the agency could only buy a certain amount at a time. Chola Kafwabulula, the FRA’s Chief Executive Director, stated that the agency has rented storage facilities from the private sector to accommodate 1.1 million metric tonnes of maize.

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