Sat, 15 Oct 2016 11:10:45 +0000
THE ban on the export of maize grain remains in force until further notice and efforts have been made to avoid frustrating exports or permitted agriculture products such as maize seed, Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya told Parliament yesterday.
And Ms Siliya told the House that her ministry would undertake a specific review of the Farmer Support Input Support Programme (FISP) and the mandate and operations of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in order to attain national food security and increased from the agriculture sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Ms Siliya, who is Petauke Central Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament, said this yesterday when she issued a ministerial statement on the occasion of the World Food Day under the theme “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”
In order to attain national food security and increased agriculture’s contribution to GDP, Ms Siliya said that her ministry would work closely with the minister of Lands, Commerce Trade and Industry as well as the Ministry of Finance to accelerate investment in the agriculture sector.
Ms Siliya said her ministry’s focus on crop diversification would include cassava, groundnuts, soya-beans, sunflower, cotton, cowpeas, cashew nuts and horticultural products. “The ministry of agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Commerce Trade and Industry, will undertake targeted trade missions to countries such as the DR Congo, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda and South Africa with a view to increase export to these countries,” she said.
Ms Siliya said her ministry would also devise innovative and targeted financing products for small holders and emergent farmers, especially women and youths, adding that it would specially focus on crops that were meant for agro-processing and export.