Agri-business Business

Allow maize exports, say researchers

By KELLY NJOMBO
THE Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) says Government must allow maize exports during the 2014/15 marketing season because of the anticipated maize bumper harvest.
The IAPRI said Government must also inform the public and the private sector of its intentions pertaining to agricultural issues to enable their full participation in business.
According to a statement obtained by the Daily Mail in Lusaka recently, IAPRI said by Government announcing its plans early in the maize marketing season, smallholder farmers are expected to benefit because of competitive pricing on the markets.
The institute said pursuing monetary policies that are supportive of smallholder prices and export competiveness may provide a more effective means for addressing rural poverty and low productivity than alternative strategies such as increased on the Farmers Input Support Programme and Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
“Government should announce that maize exports will have no restrictions for the entirety 2014/25 marketing season, and for the private sector to be effective, it must have some sense of what Government’s intentions in the market area, the sooner these are made clearer, the faster the private sector will be able to respond to the upcoming harvest,” IAPRI said.
The institute said private sector could also play a role by securing finance to purchase maize and acquiring storage facilities to avoid the maize from going to waste.

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