30Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian

THE National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) is set to construct 65 new storage facilities worth USD 55 million in eight regions with the capacity to store 250,000 MT of grain.

The new storage facilities will be constructed in Songwe, Katavi, Ruvuma, Njombe,  Manyara, Shinyanga, Dodoma and Rukwa Regions.

 NFRA chief executive officer Milton Lupa told Property Watch that among those, 56 storage facilities are silos and the remaining nine are warehouses.

He said that the construction of new storage will increase the storage capacity from the current 251,000 MT to 501,000 MT of grain, improve the working environment of the agency, governance and accountability.

“So far the construction work of warehouses and silos worth US$8million in Babati District, Manyara Region has been finalized and will have the capacity to store 40,000 MT of grain while in other regions the construction work is underway,” he said.

He thanked Poland government for providing them a soft loan to facilitate construction of the modern storage facilities in the country.

Lupa said NFRA is now building new facilities through a five-year project ‘dubbed’ Storage Capacity Expansion Project on Construction of silos, warehouses and other infrastructures with the support from Poland government.

So far NFRA has 34 warehouses with the capacity to store 251,000 MT and they still need more storage facilities so that they can be able to store maize, white sorghum and rice stock that will be purchased from  different farmers across the country.

“We expect to buy a total of 165,000 Metric tonnes of maize worth 14bn/- in Ruvuma, Njombe, Songwe, Rukwa and Katavi Regions at affordable price so as to support farmers as well strengthen food security in the country,” he said.

He said the main goal is to allow farmers to obtain better prices for what they produce, help them to increase income and increase revenue to district councils in the respective areas.

The CEO acknowledged that inadequate storage capacity and facilities and capital investment fund are among the major impediments that hinder NFRA to operate its work more effectively.

“We still depend on government support and other donors so that we can operate our work more effectively,” he said.

Elaborating on the Capital Investment Fund area, he said funds provided to the agency was not enough as it mostly meet part of working capital requirements and recurrent expenses only.

NFRA is a public institution established as an executive agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives for the purpose of guaranteeing national food security.

The main role of the Agency is to procure, reserve food stocks and respond to food shortages in the country.

The Agency has been established to maintain a national optimal level of food reserve for the country, procuring, reserving and releasing food stocks to address disasters, marketing food commodities and generating revenues as well as recycling and releasing food stocks in the market to stabilize food supplies.

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