By ZamChro Correspondent,
Agriculture minister, Brian Chituwo, was quoted as saying that government will announce the floor price of maize for this years marketing season in the first week of May.
The purpose of government is not to be involved in the free market by setting prices.
It is unfortunate that the Zambian government wants to perpetuate a nanny mentality and that’s not how markets develop.
In a free market economy, government always comes up with ways that enable the market to function and not vice versa.
The government needs to stay out of the way as much as possible so that they are not the match makers of any transactions. They have to legislate and come up with laws that encourage commerce and not encourage dependence.
There are thus a lot of things government needs to concentrate on other than fixing prices and or setting floor prices because by doing things like that they abrogate their fiduciary role in any enterprise.
Governments are usually bad for business because they are not best suited to create any wealth, neither are they best suited to be producers of any goods and services and as such the more they stay away the better it is for entrepreneurs.
It is the job of the entrepreneur to come up with what he/she thinks his/her labor is worth and that does not require government help. An entrepreneur surely requires help from government but not in line with what the Minister of Agriculture is suggesting.
Thus the role of government is such that they make themselves busy doing things that the common individual would not have the capacity to do. These among other things involve heavy investment of government resources in creating good roads, building bridges, creating new rail networks and other auxiliary functions needed to make the movement of goods and services feasible.
Therefore, Dr. Chituwo’s appeal to farmers to be patient as government worked out the floor price was so much out of line with what his main concerns should be as Minister of Agriculture in our opinion.
The minister said it was sad that some farmers in southern province were selling a 50 kilogram bag of maize at 25-thousand kwacha. Dr. Chituwo was speaking in Lusaka when he opened a workshop on the crop forecasting survey.
This survey done by the Central Statistics Office in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture is another misappropriation of the meager resources. It is erroneously believed that the study is required to determine the floor price of maize.
Another missed opportunity for trying to do what is right; just more time wasted doing wrong things with the right attitude using misplaced goals. We thought our own economists at the Central Statistics Office would advise the Ministry of Agriculture according, but we counted wrong … thanks a trillion.
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