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2. Zambia: Drop in maize price expected as bumper harvest announced (All Africa, FAO)

Zambia has recorded a historic harvest of more than 2.7 million tonnes of maize this year. Peter Daka, the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, announced the bumper harvest last week.

Mr. Daka went on to state that there is no reason why the price of mealie meal should remain high. There is sufficient maize in stock. He sees it as “only fair” that millers reduce the prices so that ordinary Zambians can benefit. The minister said that the government was talking to millers about how best to reduce the price. He was confident that this objective would be realized.

The Zambian government recently launched the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Under this programme, certain small-scale farmers receive a small amount of inputs such as seed and fertilizer. The government believes the record yield is partly a result of the FISP programme, together with improved extension services.