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Farm Produce (Prices)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1950

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24 and 25.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) to what purposes the African Farming Improvement Fund and the Native Maize (Controlled Areas) Fund in Northern Rhodesia are devoted; and to what extent they are applied to assisting the African farmers to improve their agricultural technique;

(2) what is the reason for the present price discrimination as between cattle, eggs and maize produced by Europeans in Northern Rhodesia and the same commodities produced by African farmers.

I am making inquiries of the Acting Governor with regard to cattle and egg prices and also in regard to the Native Maize (Controlled Areas) Fund and will communicate with my hon. Friend when the reply is received. The price paid for maize by the Control Board is the same whether it is produced by European or African farmers. This year it will be 30s. 2d. per bag. African producers will be paid 21s. 3d. of this direct and the balance of 8s. 11d. per bag will be paid into the African Farming Improvement Fund. This fund is used to finance the improvement of African farming mainly by providing a good farming bonus of 15s. an acre to farmers who use improved methods based on crop rotation and soil conservation.

Is the Minister satisfied that Africans in general are fully aware of the use to which this money is put, and, if not, will he take steps to give the matter increased publicity?

I think they are fully informed, but I will look into the matter to see if we can give it still further publicity.