Who will buy our maize? asks Magande

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:20:51 +0000





GOVERNMENT should come up with plans on how farmers will market their maize in view of its announcement that it will not be involved in the marketing of the commodity this harvest season, says former Finance ministert Ng’andu Magande.

Mr Magande expressed concern that the Government’s decision not to be involvement in the marketing of maize this coming harvest season may affect the livelihood of farmers as no one would buy the commodity from them since there was an export ban.

“They should now start planning how we are going to market these crops even if it means Government coming up with plans to help individuals or private companies to market this crop, not only within Zambia but also in the region under proper arrangements to the hungry million around us,” he said.

Mr Magande, a former agricultural director, said in an interview that the maize if not purchased by Government and not exported may go to waste.

“Even if we have a bumper harvest, the Government has already announced that they will not be involved in marketing of maize this time, they will only buy reserves which is about 500,000 tonnes.

“Assuming we grow 4 million tonnes, who will buy the other maize and I know there are people who can buy the maize. Since Government does not want to get involved, how can they help the citizens to get involved?’’ he asked.

He said the current rainfall indicated that Zambia may have a bumper harvest and that farmers would have good crops of all sorts such as soybeans, groundnuts and maize which needed a market.

Mr Magande emphasised that Government still needed to get involved in the marketing of all crops or allow the export of maize.

“People around us are begging for food and we have 42 million hectares and we are saying we cannot give you the commodity. This is not good.

“This is time to talk about agriculture and because we anticipate a good crop of different commodity, the Government must not wash their hands off this,” he said.




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