US envoy Storella supports removal of subsidies

US envoy Storella supports removal of subsidies

markUNITED States of America Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella says the recent removal of the maize subsidy in Zambia is justified because both the Government and farmers could have suffered serious financial repercussions in future had the trend continued.

THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN BY TIMES OF ZAMBIA

Mr Storella said the Zambian Government had made a bold and correct decision because the country could not keep on subsidising one crop at a huge cost.

He said the Government should now ensure that the local farmers focus on growing different crops besides maize to provide better nutrition and generate steady incomes.

Mr Storella was speaking in an interview in Livingstone after he toured vegetable fields for Nsongwe Women’s Association funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

“I don’t want to comment on specifics of the proposals but I want to say that maize subsidies could not continue because sooner or later the Government could have gone bankrupt and farmers were also going to be bankrupt.

“You can’t just keep subsidising maize forever. Your Government right now is making hard decisions on agriculture and it should be supported,” he said.

Mr Storella said relying on a single crop was not healthy for the country.

“If you rely on one crop and suddenly there is a crop failure in a particular year, then you will have nothing to eat.

“I really wish Government great success. What we really hope to see in the future is that Zambian farmers will have more and different crops which will bring about better nutrition and better income,” he said.

THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN BY TIMES OF ZAMBIA

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