Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda has announced that the Maize floor price for this year’s crop marketing season has been maintained at K 75 per 25 kilogramme bag.
Mr Lubinda announced in a ministerial statement in Parliament that the decision was arrived after wide consultations with farmers associations and the Grain Traders Association of Zambia.
Mr Lubinda also disclosed that Government through the Food Reserve Agency will buy up to 1 Million MT of Maize in the current crop marketing season.
He said out of that figure, 500,000 MT will go towards strategic national reserves while the remaining 500,000 will be for purposes of stabilising prices on the mealie meal on the local market.
Mr Lubinda said Government did not want to increase the producer prices for Maize as that would have triggered an increase in retail prices of mealie meal.
He said price of mealie meal would go to levels obtaining in neighbouring countries if the producer price is increased.
Mr Lubinda said Zambians are not ready to pay 40 dollars per 25Kg per bag as the people in the Congo or K 250 for a bag of mealie meal as in Malawi and Zimbabwe hence the need to pay the prices.
He said with the K 75 per 25 Kg bad, farmers especially small holder farmers would be adequately compensated for their efforts.