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123,340 metric tons of maize needed- GOVT

Written by  Eunice Ndhlovu

Government says the country will need an extra 123,340 metric tons of maize to feed the nation to the next crop season.

K4b set aside for maize availability K4b set aside for maize availability
12
May

 

Minister of Agriculture irrigation and water development Dr. Allan chiyembekeza said this when he presented a statement on the outlook of crop production in the country.

 

The ministerial statement aroused a lot of interest in the members following reports on how most areas are affected by floods and dry spell that hit the country this growing season.

This is against the national requirement of about 3-million tons every year.

Chiyembekeza said the government is making arrangement to allow the ministry to buy extra maize from outside the country. He said this year ADMARC will be given money on time to allow it buy maize from farmers.

“Unlike last year ADMARC will buy maize at 100 per kilogram from farmers to make sure that they make profits, " said Chiyembekeza.

Also in the program will be the replenishment of strategic grain reserves with about 60 000 metric tons.
The minister also said famers in the country will be encouraged to plant cassava and sweet potatoes which are resistant to extreme weather conditions in order to avert future food deficit.

He said the ministry will distribute the cassava cuttings and sweet potato vines to all affected farmers in the country.

 

The Minister also disclosed that 3500 goats and 5000 chickens have already been distributed to farmers in flood affected areas.

 

He also said Illovo Sugar Company has pledged to plant maize to be distributed to districts affected by floods in the lower shire.

Meanwhile Members asked why Illovo Sugar Company would want to distribute maize to lower shire districts only and not all districts affected.

Ralph Jooma Member for Mangochi Monkey Bay said government could have hired Illovo to grow maize that would be distributed in all districts affected.

However, the Minister of Agriculture indicated that government could no intervene because the idea to plant maize for distribution was Illovo's own corporate responsibilty innitiative.

About K4 billion has been set aside for the National intervation on the hunger situation.

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