– Government has announced K70 as the new floor price of maize for 2013/2014 marketing season.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Wylbur Simuusa announced in a ministerial statement delivered in parliament today.
Mr Simuusa said the increase in the floor price of maize was arrived at following consultations with various stakeholders with government.
The minister said although the market is liberalised, government wants farmers to sell their grain to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) at the recommended price.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, the new floor price of maize is K70 for the 2013/2014 marketing season. Farmers in the country are advised to sell their maize to the FRA at a recommended price and not the briefcase traders,” Mr. Simuusa said.
Meanwhile, Mr Simuusa has also announced that government has increased beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) from 900,000 to one million.
The Minister said the increase in the number of beneficiaries is aimed at increasing productivity.
He disclosed that 50, 000 metric tons of top dressing fertilizer has been purchased from Saudi Arabia while the other deficit would be met by the private sector to attain the required 106,000 metric tons.
He further disclosed that he would consistently engage Millers in the country and other stakeholders to bring down mealie meal prices to acceptable levels.
And contributing, PF Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo urged government to put strict measures to the FISP.
Ms. Masebo observed that civil servants abused the inputs as they also benefited from the facility instead of small scale farmers.