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Monze private sector can contribute to input supply -NGO survey

TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
THE private sector in Monze has the capacity to drive input supply and maize grain marketing in the district, Centre for Trade Policy and Development latest survey has revealed.
Early this year, CSPR conducted a case study in Monze to explore the capacity of private sector participation in maize grain marketing and input supply.
The study also investigated the factors that enable or discourage private sector participation in crop marketing and explore whether private sector participation has any impact on the price of mealie meal.
CTPD executive director Isabel Mukelabai said structured and unstructured buyers are heavily involved in maize buying and input supply and as a result, farmers always have market for their produce.
“It is worth stating that, private sector participation in maize grain marketing and input supply is not legally binding by law, however, political interference, government policy, inconsistent and poor rural infrastructure, are the main factors that prevent and discourage the participation of the private sector in input distribution and maize grain marketing,” Ms Mukalabai said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail last week.
She said the study revealed that the setting of maize floor prices above the market prices, and ad-hoc trade restrictions such as export ban, creates unstable business environment for the private sector to function effectively.
She also said increasing Government policy and political interference is problematic when it is inconsistent and prone to change, as this undermines the ability of the private sector to plan effectively.
Ms Mukalabai however, said the private sector has the capacity to drive maize grain marketing and the process should be left to them.
She said Government should continue participating in maize marketing, but should only focus on buying for the strategic reserves.