Securing our Food

From Zambian Economist Fri Feb 1 2013, 06:00:00

By Chola Mukanga

Agriculture is not only one of the most important economic sectors in the country, but it is also the most politically sensitive. 70% of our people live in rural areas and largely practise farming or fishing. The other reason is that it is heavily connected to the issue of land which inevitably draws in traditional leaders and other players. It's therefore comes as no surprise that many we have an infinite array of ideas on what should be done about to get our agriculture policy on track. Which is fine but we need to remember that not every voice adds value. It's therefore important we weigh the issues affecting this sector carefully.

The latest to join the queue for offering opinion on is the Zambia Consumers Association (ZACA). They recently called for the transformation of the the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from not only a maize storage agency but to also be a subsidiary milling company. ZACA Executive Director Muyunda Ililonga says there is need for the role of FRA to be revised so that it can compete with private millers in order to guarantee that consumers are not exploited. ZACA believes that if FRA had a milling department millers would not take advantage of consumers by hiking mealie meal prices, thereby making the staple food affordable to the average Zambian.

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