Zambia set for bumper harvest
Published On March 16, 2014 » 2703 Views» By Moses Kabaila Jr: Online Editor » Business, Stories
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Maize174By JAMES KUNDA-
ZAMBIA’S maize harvest for the 2013/14 season is expected to hit three million tonnes, a significant increase from last year’s figures of 2.5 million tonnes.
According to a preliminary crop survey which was undertaken recently, the anticipated bumper harvest has been attributed to favourable climatic conditions conducive for large scale farming.
Agriculture and Livestock deputy minister Greyford Monde said a good rain fall pattern in the period between November 2013 and March 2014, has made it possible for the country’s expected bumper harvest.
Mr Monde said most farmers were able to plant ample maize fields to stimulate production.
“Surveys conducted so far in several parts of the country have indicated to us that the maize yield this year is expected to be somewhere around three million tonnes. These surveys will continue and despite the challenges surrounding the last farming season, the country will still be able to produce enough to guarantee  national food security,” he said.
The deputy minister said the figure that the Government will buy for strategic grain reserves this year will be dependent on the private sector participation in crop marketing activities.
Last year, Government procured over 400,000 tonnes of maize for strategic grain reserves and this is the commodity that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has been selling to millers and in selected communities.
Mr Monde said Government will allow ordinary people to buy maize from farmers to encourage competition and private sector participation in crop marketing activities.
Government also anticipates better yields for other crops such as groundnuts, wheat and sweet potatoes to promote crop diversification.

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