LUSAKA — Various stakeholders in the agriculture sector have proposed that exports of the 2015/16 maize marketing season carry-over stocks should continue alongside the routine verification exercise.
During a stock monitoring committee meeting between industry players and the Ministry of Agriculture recently, the stakeholders said that a quick stock verification exercise should be conducted to give guidance on the current maize marketing season.
This is contained in a Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) weekly brief for last week.
The industry players suggest that there is need for the government to formulate policies that will enhance the potential of large-and-medium-scale farmers to consider planting early maturity seed maize variety to maximise the business prospective that has been necessitated by the regional crop deficit.
The southern African region has a deficit of over 7.3 million metric tonnes of maize for the 2016/17 marketing season.
The crop shortfall will help farmers take advantage of deficit markets in the region thereby generating more income to better their livelihood.
“The early maturity seed maize variety, which can be planted under irrigation before the onset of the rainy season will act as a national food security buffer…,” the stakeholders note.
Meanwhile, Southern Africa Ferro Alloys (Safa) has partnered with Serenje District Farmers’ Association to start making charcoal from maize cob residual.
Safa, which is the leading player in the international ferro alloys industry, has since started buying shelled maize cobs from farmers in the district to help reduce deforestation. — Zambia dailymail