GOVERNMENT will this week announce the floor price of maize for this year’s marketing season, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Wylbur Simuusa has said.
Mr Simuusa said in an interview yesterday that government has finalised consultations with various stakeholders and will before the end of this week announce the maize floor price.
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.
“We have just finished consultations as a ministry with various stakeholders and our plans are to announce the floor price for this year’s marketing season before the end of this week.
“We are requesting our farmers not to sell their maize to briefcase buyers but to the Food Reserve Agency at the recommended price,” he said.
The floor price for maize has been at K65 for a 50kg bag (K1.3/kg) since 2009.
The Zambia National Farmers’ Union has asked for an increase in the floor price to compensate for the rising costs of production, particularly fuel, fertiliser and seed.
Mr Simuusa also said government has finished distributing basal dressing compound D-fertiliser to all the districts under the 2014-2015 farmer input support programme (FISP).
He said government is working hard to ensure this year’s FISP is a greater success than the previous ones.
“We are working hard as a ministry so that we improve the agriculture sector. We have finished distributing fertiliser to all the districts ahead of this year’s farming season.
“We are now calling on our farmers in the country to start preparing their fields in readiness for the farming season,” Mr Simuusa said.
He called for increased maize productivity following the government’s early distribution of fertiliser.
Mr Simuusa also implored farmers in the country to work extra hard to fight hunger.
He said farmers need to work hard to help promote national food security.
Zambia Daily Mail