The Agriculture ministry has cancelled an international tender for supply of 550,000 bags of maize and 20,000 bags of rice that had been advertised by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in favour of the local purchase.
NCPB managing director Newton Terer said the decision was reached after the ministry advised for a freeze of the tender as they monitor purchases from local harvests.
The tender also saw the cancellation of plans to buy one million bags for the grain storage.
“The ministry requested us to cancel the tender because of the ongoing purchases. It is monitoring the process before the decision on imports is reached,” said Mr Terer.
The cancellation comes hardly a week since the State-owned grain handler called for bids from interested bidders to supply grains as the firm wanted to resume commercial trading of maize to supplement the funds that it gets from the exchequer.
Mr Terer also pointed out that the ministry would be the sole entity that will handle the imports of grain and no other State agencies such as the NCPB for control of cross-border trader using taxpayers’ cash from a central point.