Zambian President Edgar Lungu has announced an upward adjustment in the floor price of maize, the country’s staple food, from 75 kwacha to 85 kwacha (one US dollar = 10.9 kwacha) per 50-kilogramme bag.

President Lungu said Thursday that the increase in the floor price was arrived at after wide consultations with the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Zambia and technocrats.

The president said the move was in appreciation of the hard work of farmers for producing a bumper harvest this past season even in the midst of challenges.

Zambia is the only southern African country with a grain surplus this past harvesting season after crops in wide areas of the sub-region were devastated by one of thge worst droughts on records, caused in part by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Meanwhile, farmers and farming organizations have welcomed the increase in the maize floor price with the president of the National Union of Small-Scale Farmers Associations, Frank Kayula, hailing the development.

Saying that the President had heard the pleas of farmers, Kameya added that small-scale and peasant farmers had been lobbying the government to raise the price of maize since Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda announced the maize floor price in April.

Lusaka economist Grayan Lwando said the increase would empower peasant farmers and the Zambia Co-operative Federation-(ZCF) president, James Chirwa, said the move will result in increased revenue for farmers.

Source: Nam News Network

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