The Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) has hailed Acting Republican President Inonge Wina for intervening and re-stating clearly the government policy on maize and mealie meal business operations in the country.
ZNFU President Jervis Zimba said Farmers are excited with the government in that maize business from farm level and throughout the value chain is set to continue to operate undisturbed.
In the statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr Zimba explained that the government’s stance will go a long way in restoring confidence in all the players and farmers will plan in all earnest for the upcoming farming season.
“Let me assure the government that farmers will always respond and grow maize with the right incentives in place. Already there is a commitment by farmers to grow early maize right now if the government provides the appropriate policy framework and guarantees for off-take arrangements locally or through exports,” Mr Zimba said.
“Farmers are also excited at the possibility of formalizing exports of maize and mealie meal into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as this will pave way for the favorable expansion of maize growing in this country,” he said.
He underscored that all farmers whether small, emergent or large scale can grow maize, but the limiting factor has been a lack of access to larger.
The Zambia National Farmers Union President further assured of continued collaboration with other stakeholders and government to find ways of improving the affordability of mealie meal.
Mr Zimba pointed out that part of the measures should be focusing on how the cost of producing the maize can be reduced, followed by lowering the cost of doing business in the country which will drop the mealie meal prices.
Acting President Inonge Wina is concerned with the rate at which conflicting statements are being issued to the public regarding maize and mealie meal supply in the country.