Movement for Multiparty Democracy MMD has called for consistency in the policy of crop marketing so as to ensure predictability in the marketing of crops.
Commenting on the announcement that the country has recorded yet another bumper harvest, Party National Secretary Raphael Nakacinda said there is need for government to have predictable policies in the marketing of crop so as to allow the participation of the private sector in the buying and selling of the crop.
Mr Nakacinda said government should allow the private sector to pick on the market that they desired to service as opposed to restricting them to supplying to the local market.
“Obviously we know that government through the food reserve agency (FRA) will participate in the purchase of maize though with limitation as regards the amount of maize that they will buy owing to financial and space limitations which lives a bigger chunk to the private sector hence the need to allow them to sell the crop were they feel they will make more money.
“Without a conducive environment the private sector will shy away from participating in the marketing which in the end will not only affect small scale farmers who do not know were to sale their excessive crop but to government as well as it will miss out on earning the much needed FOREX,” he said.
Mr Nakacinda said the policy inconsistencies discourage some players who have been affected in the past.
He urged Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya to stick to user friendly policies so that private participants can get attracted in a serene market environment.
Mr Nakacinda said the inconsistency in policy by government has discouraged some players in the private sector from taking part in the marketing season because they are either are forced to sale their crop on the local market or wait for government to lift the export bans that they institute.
The MMD has further advised that in future crop marketing seasons government must manage the bans more efficiently thereby striking a balance between private sector participation and curbing practices that threaten food security.
“We urge the minister to stick to her policy which she has announced so that there is predictability in the marketing of this year’s crop. This culture of ministers announcing that they have lifted the ban only for another minister to change the stance should come to end forthwith because it discourages potential participants in the sector. Cabinet should have a consistent position on matters of national interest because they are a team and they should be pulling in the same direction,” said the MMD CEO.