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.