The opposition Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) has observed that the announced K70 floor price for maize for this year’s crop marketing season is ridiculously too low.
The ADD says this is because it is way below the production cost of a 50Kg bag of maize.
ADD President Charles Milupi notes that this year’s floor price for maize actually kills all farmers whether at commercial or small scale level.
Mr. Milupi is concerned that government has decided to set the floor price for maize at K70 per 50kg bag of maize when the prices of fuel, equipment, chemicals, fertilize and labour have all gone up.
He has told Qfm News by telephone it is clear that a rise in the price of these elements have compounded the production cost of producing a 50Kg bag of maize.
Mr. Milupi has thus challenged anyone in the country to justify that they can produce a 50Kg bag of maize at US$9 which is equivalent to the floor price of maize government has announced.
He is of the view that the minimum cost for producing a 50kg bag of maize, given the production cost, should be not less than US$15.
The ADD president has since advised government to begin to different between making mealie meal cheap and the business of producing maize.
He is suggesting that farmers must recoup what they have put in so that profits can enable them to produce for the next farming season and therefore government must not make farmers subsides the price of mealie meal by subjecting them to a low floor price.
Mr. Milupi states if government wants to make mealie meal cheap in Zambia it should do so by introducing subsidies.