By JUDITH NAMUTOWE –
GOVERNMENT has encouraged small-scale farmers to increase maize production during the 2014/15 farming season in an effort to stabilise mealie-meal prices.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wylbur Simuusa said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that there was need for farmers to increase production so as to have control over mealie-meal prices.
Mr Simuusa said increasing production was one way of controlling commodity prices such as mealie-meal.
He said farmers should rise to the challenge and increase production because they had the capacity to do so.
“We need to increase maize production if we are going to have control over commodity prices such as maize in particular.
‘‘We have the capacity to do so, and if we increase production, it will help us control mealie-meal and other commodities prices,” he added.
Mr Simusa also said that his ministry would this week engage stakeholders in the value chain to see what measures should be put in place to ensure stability in the mealie-meal prices.
“What is clear is that mealie-meal prices cannot be ignored and as Government, we are not sitting idle, we are working on that.That is why I will be meeting stakeholders in the value chain on what measures should be put in place to bring the mealie-meal prices under control.”
Mr Simuusa, however, said there has been a challenge of delayed distribution of farming input, but that, Government was putting much effort to ensure inputs were distributed on time.