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The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was created through the Food Reserve Act, Cap 225 of the Laws of Zambia to administer the strategic food reserves, engage in market facilitation, development and management of the national storage facilities. According to the Food Reserve Act, the FRA was established as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and of being sued in its corporate name. The FRA has power to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may by law do or perform.

The FRA mission is to ensure national food security and provide market access for rural based small holder farmers by maintaining a sustainable national strategic food reserve. The FRA also acts as a macro-economic stabilizer for food grown in the country, such as maize which is the nation’s staple crop.

The purpose of the national strategic food reserve is to ensure a reliable supply of designated agricultural commodities for the country, to meet local shortfalls in the supply of a designated agricultural commodity and to meet such other food emergencies caused by drought or flood, or by such other natural disaster. The FRA also addresses issues affecting the food reserve and the stabilization of prices and essential food supply.

The agricultural marketing policy of the Government of the Republic of Zambia is reflected in the FRA Act. This Act contains provisions, which aim at creating the necessary conditions to encourage the private sector to develop efficient agricultural production and marketing systems, while curtailing the direct intervention and control by Government agencies and institutions. The FRA, therefore, is the implementing body of the Food Reserve Act.