President Hakainde Hichilema has assured the nation that government is putting in place measures to address the high prices of mealie meal in the country.
Speaking when he delivered a speech, at the official opening of the third session of the 13th National Assembly in Lusaka, President Hichilema expressed concern over the high price of mealie meal.
The Head of State informed the nation that government has prioritised the transformation of the agriculture sector, in an effort to make the country’s staple food affordable to citizens.
The Head of State disclosed that government has established a financing window that will allow small, medium and large scale farmers to access financing at concessional rates.
He also cited the increase of the maize flow price from K180 to K280 kwacha as a deliberate measure to stimulate maize production.
And President Hichilema has encouraged the use of irrigation practices so that farmers do not only rely on rain-fed farming.
He was optimistic that the interventions will start bearing fruit soon.
“Agriculture remains the bedrock of our economic transformation and jobs creation agenda, we are making steady progress to transform the sector by ensuring efficiency and productivity for the benefit of our people” President Hichilema stated.
The Head of State explained that the country’s maize supply is under pressure due to regional and global supply deficits arising from factors such as climate change and instability in some parts of the world.
He said that Zambia’s food security has been negatively impacted by prices of mealie meal, hence measures are aimed at cushioning the plights of citizens.
President Hichilema called on citizens to unite and build upon individual and collective achievements, forging a more productive and unified nation.
Meanwhile Chief Chisunka of Luapula Province expressed confidence in the measures being implemented by the government.
Chief Chisunka disclosed that traditional rulers are also playing a role in ensuring their subjects who are vulnerable but viable farmers are not left out on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).