dr made 21.10.10.jpgGovernment says it will not tolerate speculative tendencies in the marketing of maize and wheat as these are strategic crops that cannot be sold through the commodity exchange.

This follows the recent launch of the commodity exchange which is expected to assist in the marketing of agricultural produce.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made says the strategic crops cannot be marketed through the recently launched commodity exchange.

Dr Made was speaking at the Agricultural Marketing Authority strategic planning seminar in the capital where he said government at the moment will employ interventionist policies in the marketing of  critical crops in the country as there are forces within and outside the country who are working to derail the success of the land reform programme.

“As government there is the commodity exchange,  but for strategic crops such as maize and wheat we will not tolerate any speculative tendencies and we will surely intervene. It can work for other crops but for maize we will intervene,” said Dr. Made.

Turning to the role of the Agricultural Marketing Authority, he implored them to work hard in tackling some of the challenges being faced by farmers, especially the issue of pests such as quelea birds and the armyworm that are affecting some parts of the country.

The chairman of the authority, Dr John Mangundya said the organisation was strategically formed to be a link between the agricultural sector, government and other critical stakeholders and will work to add value in the sector.

“We play a critical role as a link between government and the sector and we always work for a fair pricing regime,” Dr. Mangudya said.

The strategic planning seminar for the Agricultural Marketing Authority is expected to come up with a 5-year road map that is expected to guide its operation.

The authority was revived last year after being inactive since 1974.