Farmers pessimistic, but Zambian government wants smooth planting season

The Zambian government is going all out to ensure a smooth 2017/’18 planting season, despite many farmers getting despondent about delayed farming inputs. Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya at the weekend said government released K1 billion of K1.7 billion to activate electronic voucher (e-voucher) cards for the Farmer Input Support Programme…

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FRA to earn US$13m from export of surplus maize

The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) says it will earn US$13 million from the export of surplus maize from the 2016 farming season. FRA Executive Director Chola Kafwabulula said the agency would earn the money for facilitating the transaction of exporting 100,000 tons of maize to East Africa. According to FRA,…

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Subjects displaced by chiefdom sale want court to eject buyer

Subjects displaced in the controversial chiefdom sale in Zambia’s Central Province have turned to the courts to eject the buyer. In an application filed in the High Court of Zambia, they ask that the investor be ordered to cease the fishing and hunting activities he conducts in the area. In…

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Farmers to revive disused government farms

The farming community in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Midlands have taken ownership of an empowerment initiative to ensure neglected government farms in the area are productive again. Farmers near Mooirivier want to uplift the community by reviving the farms and empowering and training people. The uMATI initiative, a non-profit organisation, will…

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Zambia government reverses 10% maize export duty

The Zambian government has reversed the 10% export duty on raw maize following an outcry from farmers. The duty was ostensibly imposed to encourage value addition and job creation. Farmers relentlessly fought against the tax, describing it as a major policy inconsistency that will discourage increased grain productivity. Zambian National…

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Decision not to dictate maize price cheers consumer advocacy group

The consumer advocacy group Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) has welcomed government’s decision to leave maize prices to market forces. The group also asked for a policy instrument in the form of a price band to avoid market distortions when government went beyond buying strategic grain reserves. “The decision…

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Zambian maize farmers must target East African markets – PMRC

The Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) says the maize surplus in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region provides an opportunity for Zambian maize farmers to exploit the north and East African markets. PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka says farmers can take advantage of price differentials between surplus and…

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Black farmers mustn’t pin hope on government

Forget about government and its promises – rather forge partnerships with commercial farmers. That’s the advice given to prospective black farmers from Sernick Agriculture Group’s Nick Serfontein. Serfontein was a panellist at the Nampo harvest day in South Africa’s North West Province where he discussed the Land Bank’s new financial…

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‘Deal to drive down mealie-meal prices a flop’ – ZNFU, MAZ, GTAZ

The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) and the Grain Traders Association (GTAZ) are calling for the cancellation of the recent maize agreement aimed at driving down rising mealie-meal prices. They say the agreement failed to achieve its intended objectives. “Government should cancel the current tripartite…

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