File: Peasant farmers wait for the Food Reserve Agency to buy their maize

The World Bank has urged Zambia to rethink its maize policy in the agriculture sector.

In a statement Wednesday, World Bank Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Kundhavi Kadiresan said delays in providing policy direction was hurting the farmers.

Ms Kadiresan says poor farmers in particular are exploited as some traders are buying maize from these farmers in anticipation of re-selling at a higher price to the Food Reserve Agency-FRA-.

She says the World Bank is however deeply concerned that Government’s policy direction does not ensure the long-term and sustainable growth of the agriculture sector.

On Wednesday Zambia maintained the maize floor price of 65,000 Kwacha per 50 kilogrammes bag for the 2012/2013 marketing season as announced by Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda.

But the World Bank representative feels this maize price encourages mono cropping at the expense of crop diversification.

Ms Kadiresan observes that job creation through economic diversification, which is the goal of the Zambian government, is unlikely to be achieved if government pursues the same policy in the agriculture sector as that of the previous government.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. WB your policies once destroyed the agric sector in this country. WB you are full of theories which are under taken by your PD fellows doing studies in this part of the world. The only hope is that this govt even with limited vision for agriculture in Zambia they will still stand their ground and say NO to you ill advice.

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  2. MAIZE FLOOR PRICE IS THERE TO CONTROL THE PRICE FOR MILLIE MEAL. OTHERWISE LEFT UNCHECKED THE POOR OF THE POOR WILL STARVE TO DEATH AS THEY WONT AFFORD THE NSIMA

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  3. [email protected]@ chobe WB, ulefwaya tukafwe nensala? Markets have no moral obligation, if we allow them to allocate all productive resources in Agric. sector, all monies will go into growing of Cassava. Of what good will that be to us. Much as you can diversify Agric. production, it is almost impossible to transform life long consumption tastes. Twalitemwa akabwali fwebene, we call it food! You want us to be eating Japati or whatever you call it. No ways!

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  4. das ha own opinion.dis policy has done alot in rural areas. peasant famas have vihicos built houses.zed nid 2 b strong like zim.westenas thot zim wud fall wen it stoped adhering 2 their policies.zed shld do same by not acepting wb advice.she jst tryin 2 promote neo-colonialism and capitalism

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  5. #2 I like your line.

    As I have said before No country anywhere in the world has ever followed World bank advice and moved out of poverty.

     No and never. World Bank is like those greedy micro lenders called Loan sharks.  They just don’t care about the welfare of the recepient for their loans ..all they want is to make a 10 fold profit on their lending. This institution abuses the poor countries.

    Countries making progress like South African, don’t talk to these criminals. European Union was very relactant to allow these criminals get into Greece and so why should we keep listening to these crooks.

    RB rejected WB president’s advise to drop maize subsidy and the PF should reject that. WB is not happy about what small farmers have done for our agric industry

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  6. On this one, we do not need you world bank. We will never forget how you misled Chiluba. Please give us break.

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  7. Am very disappointed by WB. Who are they to tell us on how to run agriculture sector in our country. This woman is just yapping without a proper solution. Divirsification of Economic is important our economy is very small. bread and butter is very important. Prioties are food on the table. 

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  8. While we bash the WB, lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. The Bank has some valid points worth pondering.

    1) The World Bank is deeply concerned that Government’s policy direction does not ensure the long-term and sustainable growth of the agriculture sector.
    2) The World Bank representative feels the maize price encourages mono cropping at the expense of crop diversification.

    We know maize is not the only crop grown in Zambia, let us have a policy that supports the whole agric sector, not just a maize policy.

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  9. World bank are the same f00ls that demanded Zambia privatise the copper mines. Lets ignore them.

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  10. World Bank can take their “one-size fits all” polices elsewhere, do you think if the likes of BRIC nations listened to their policies from Washington…they would be where they are today? No way. The EU and the USA is busy subsiding its farmers to the point of wasting produce due to excess produce..where is bl8ody World Bank?
    During the Structural Adjustment period, these WB guys were more than happy to see Zambians starve whilst themselves and other Investment Banks and the Vulture fund private firms prospered.

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  11. I think the our caretaker government don’t understand the simple economics ..K65000 last year is worth about K61000 this year so our poor farmers are making a 6% or so loss before they even sale ..The world bank is wrong .. The floor price is meant to protect the farmers from millers who in the past formed cartels to screw the farmers and make super-normal profits. What is supposed to happen in the long run is that businesses are supposed to come up and offer a better price for the maize and do whatever they want with it but then again government won’t let people export at freely unless there is a surplus . So the status remains .. What we need is a commodities exchange and the warehouse receipt system and we are done .. But can our PF brothers think this far ?

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  12. WB needs to stay out of this and lets us run our country….. They should talk to countries like the US to stop subsidizing their argriculture instead of trying to push us back into poverty. Let them keep their theories to themselves. Number 8 I don’t know when last you were in Zambia but this policy has greatly stablized food prices in the country. I guarantee you there is crop diversification in Zambia

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  13. this WB trash is trying to kill us….stup1d id1ots as comrade KK w’d call them. we had this free policy during Chiluba, where did it take us? down the road of destruction. both my mother and father live in chief Bundabunda of the Soli people, they are small scale farmers and are happy with the system. before Levy, it was hard to sale their farm products due to lack of market and poor prices, they literally threw away a lot maize every year, the private sector exploited them by holding on until the time when farmers are desperate to get rid of their crops and they’d sale their products at any price. my parents had to reduce the size of their field to make sure they only produced enough for family consumption, the result was low maize supply and high prices for mealie meal. WTF is WB sayn

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  14. Ok, mwalandasana, how Government buying the maize at K65, 000 and exporting it at half or three quarters of the price, are we not subsidising for other other countries?

    Landenipo napo gentelemeni.

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  15. ” Ms Kadiresan says poor farmers in particular are exploited as some traders are buying maize from these farmers in anticipation of re-selling at a higher price to the Food Reserve Agency-FRA-. ”

    What on earth has that to do with the floor price for maize?

    The morons at the World Bank want Zambia to get rid of the floor price for maize, because it ‘interferes’ with the ‘working of the free market’ – in other words, prices should be even lower according to them.

    If you do away with the floor price, it changes absolutely nothing about unethical traders ripping farmers off. Instead, the floor price should be rigorously enforced and traders who offer prices below it should be prosecuted for speculation.

    No one who has a choice should even talk to these IMF/WB imbeciles.

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  16. ” But the World Bank representative feels this maize price encourages mono cropping at the expense of crop diversification. ”

    In other words, if maize prices were even lower, people would grow other things. Or more expensive things like cotton, tea or other cash crops.

    High maize prices encourage ‘monocropping’ (does this ***** even know what that means – monocropping is a form of industrial agriculture, not over reliance on a single product like maize)…

    Here is my solution. For every bad decision the WB makes, their country representative loses a finger. Yakuza style. If they really screw up, it’s seppuku (harakiri) all the way.

    That will stop them handing out garbage advice.

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  17. The WB will pat us on the back when we are “starving marvins” and begging for the heavily subsided USAID yellow shitty maize which those Americans will happily ship at market price even though they have no use for it except for popcorn and pig-feed.
    I still have nightmares of us eating that yellow maize meal on the family table…i remember asking my father why they nshima was yellow and he didn’t have an answer for me.

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  18. The WB adviser has no clue that in Africa the price of mealie meal can determine your stay in power as the ruling party. It is also a cardinal commodity like oil, minerals and other natural resourses needed to maintain peace. 

    WB go and give GREECE workable solutions , not book theory!!

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  19. #6 Chief Bootlicker.With WB advice (or misadvice) notwithstanding,many folks overlook one fact.No country has moved out of poverty without having undergone some form of baptism by fire.Germany/Japan had to undergo a devastating defeats,S Korea a brutal war and our neighbours Angola & Mozambique that are making great economic strides went thru damaging civil wars.Even in kenya people wonder how come the kikuyu have economic hegemony over other tribes but it follows that they took the brunt of colonial repression thru their mau mau rebellion.The Jews also have economic stranglehold in many places after going thru the hell of WW2.

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  20. I hate advice from these overpaid pundits with talk straight from unproven theories about conditions they’ve never lived under.

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  21. I was thinking most bloggers on this forum don`t care about the welfare of the Zambian people; i was misled and i apologize. I applaud you all for speaking with one voice on this sensitive issue. I hope PF has heard your strong voice.

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  22. #19 Enka Rasha
    Please don’t consume alcoholic beverages whilst blogging online it impairs your ability to safely use the keyboard and you end up posting an ambiguities.

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  23. ” But the World Bank representative feels this maize price encourages mono cropping at the expense of crop diversification. ”

    In other words, if maize prices were even lower, people would grow other things. Or more expensive things like cotton, tea or other cash crops.

    High maize prices encourage ‘monocropping’ (does this fool even know what that means – monocropping is a form of industrial agriculture, not over reliance on a single product like maize)…

    Here is my solution. For every bad decision the WB makes, their country representative loses a finger. Yakuza style. If they really screw up, it’s seppuku (harakiri) all the way.

    That will stop them handing out garbage advice.

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  24. They say the world bank and IMF have some educated bus…. Ards who should be solving problems in their countries. This lady is a mwenye, must be in India addressing India’s rampant poverty problems

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  25. The K65000 floor price is government deliberate-policy meant to protect the vulnerable small-scale farmers. Good price plus subsidies have resuscitated rural livelihoods and production from 600000 tonnes to 3.0 million tonnes of maize per annum. Dont get fake prescriptions from WB representative else we tumble again. How does maize price encourage mono cropping, that’s not true. At the moment only maize has ready market, look at the problems cotton and tobacco farmers are facing! Its only now that rice farmers have a market. Pine apples rotting in NWP! What diversification is this lady talking of be pragmatic!

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  26. 26 M Manenga,

    ” How does maize price encourage mono cropping, that’s not true. ”

    It is ‘code’. When the government takes away the floor price, prices paid to farmers will drop to the point where they won’t grow staples like maize, but switch to cash crops like coffee, tea, tobacco and cotton.

    That means that Zambia will not grow enough food and will need to import maize, which makes them dependent on foreign governments and undermines their sovereignty. At the same time, cash crops can be taxed and the Zambian government will use the money generated in Zambia to pay the IMF debt.

    This is how the famines in Somalia started in the 1980s. It was called ‘Export Led Growth’ at the time.

    Google: the real causes of famine in somalia chossudovsky

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  27. In Malawi they ordered that food reserves were monetized to pay off IMF loans. Result: 2300 people died of famine. Consequences to the World Bank: None.

    President Bingu wa Mutharika was hounded into his grave because he showed the IMF and World Bank to be incompetent liars, fools and tools for the banking trillionairs (Rothschild, Rockefeller) and their extractive industries (Anglo-American De Beers), when he violated the ‘non-existent’ economic sanctions against the Zimbawean people, by extending a $20 mn loan to the Government of Zimbabwe.

    If you want to read the full genocidal effect of the World Bank’s policies in Malawi, google:

    world bank imf forces famine on malawi ann pettifor mindfully

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  28. I quote: ” Malawi’s key commercial creditors needed to have their debt repaid, according to Malawi’s president, who in a BBC interview said the government “had been forced (to sell maize) in order to repay commercial loans taken out to buy surplus maize in previous years”. President Muluzi said the IMF and the World Bank “insisted that, since Malawi had a surplus and the (government’s) National Food Reserve Agency had this huge loan, they had to sell the maize to repay the commercial banks.”

    ” So Malawi duly sold 28,000 tonnes of maize to Kenya. Under pressure from her creditors, led by the World Bank and the IMF, Malawi exchanged maize — her people’s staple diet — for dollars. “

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  29. ” So Malawi duly sold 28,000 tonnes of maize to Kenya. Under pressure from her creditors, led by the World Bank and the IMF, Malawi exchanged maize — her people’s staple diet — for dollars.

    ” Today, according to Action Aid, 7 million of the total population of 11 million “are severely short of food”. ”

    ” But it’s worse than that. Because Malawi is indebted, *her economic policies are effectively determined by her creditors* — represented in Malawi by the IMF. So *foreign creditors have set a target for the budget* — and Malawi exceeded this target, and spent more than the IMF deemed acceptable. As a result the IMF has withheld $47 million in aid. The UK, like other western donors, acting on advice from IMF staff, have also withheld aid. “

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  30. In the case of the UK $109 million, has been withheld, pending IMF approval of the national budget.

    To add to the humiliation of the Malawian government, the IMF has also suspended the debt service relief for which she was only recently deemed eligible — because she is “off track.”

    ” But it’s worse even than that. Under the economic programme imposed by her creditors, Malawi has removed all farming and food subsidies and allowed the market to determine demand and supply for food. This has reduced support for farmers, and *put food prices out of the reach* of millions of poor people. “

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  31. ” As Oxfam points out in Chapter 4 of its new report, “Rigged Rules and Double Standards” *the IMF’s major shareholders have not withheld support from their farmers*; and while the *IMF has imposed liberalisation on Malawi, the US and EU have increased protection of their farmers.* ”

    For Malawi, you can fill in Greece, Chile, Argentina, China (yes, ‘communist’ China, remember Tiannanmen Square, which was a neoliberal regime change operation that ‘opened up’ China to neoliberal economic policies – I remember the wedge politics and their coverage in the Western media at the time).

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