The Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has procured about 60,000 metric tonnes (mt) of maize out of the targeted 80,000 mt since it resumed purchases.
This means that the company has spent about K12 billion on the exercise as it has been procuring the commodity at K200 per kilogramme.
Admarc spokesperson Agnes Chikoko Ndovie said in an interview that the parastatal had also procured 320 mt of cotton from farmers who were yet to sell their commodity.
This means that the parastatal has spent about K76.8 million on cotton purchases.
Iin October this year, the Ministry of Finance gave Admarc the nod to borrow K22 billion from commercial banks for procurement of farm produce from farmers.
Meanwhile, Admarc Board Chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi has said the board has taken a firm stand to transform operations of the parastatal and ensure it is revived.
“Both the rich and the politically connected are being strongly reminded that Admarc was created to improve the economics of the smallholder farmers and not serve the rich and the politically powerful,” Dzonzi said.
He added that Admarc would soon be able to buy and process cotton, maize, rice, groundnuts and pigeon peas into a variety of other exportable products.
The company has been making losses due to “inadequate working capital”.
Admarc is, however, targeting to grow its returns on investment from the current four percent to 10 percent in 2022, an ambition embedded in its four-year strategic plan.
The parastatal is targeting to grow its profit to K5 billion by 2022 and its cashflow to K8 billion.