District Commissioner has advised farmers not to be discouraged with the new floor of K60 per 50 kilograms ( kg) bag under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Government through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has pegged the crop market price under FISP this year at K60 from last year’s K85 per 50kg bag of maize
DC Masela Sekeseke, says the new floor price should not discourage farmers as the market is still big enough to sell their commodities to the private sector and generate meaningful profits.
Ms Sekeseke, has advised the local maize farmers to not rush into selling their maize in desperation but if possible wait till maize is scarce in December and January in order for them to make their desired profits.
However, Aubrey Musonda a local farmer in Mufumbwe says the new floor price is too low because the farming methods by local farmers is labour intensive and expensive.
Mr Musonda, noted that selling maize to the private sector is not a good idea because the buyers could take advantage and also reduce their prices, a situation that would further disadvantage farmers.
“Government should have at least consulted us about their decision to drop the price from K80 to K60 because most of us are peasant farmers and expect government to provide us with subsidised inputs,” he said.
Yesterday President Lungu said that says he does not want to politicise production noting that the maize price announced by FRA is being determined by market forces.
Commenting on the announced K60 buying price for a 50kg bag of maize by FRA that has caused an uproar from farmers, President Lungu said he does not want to interfere in the market process because production is an economic activity that needs no political interference.
“I do not want to politicise production, production should be economical… market forces will have to come to play between buyer and seller,” President Lungu said.
“I do not want to interfere, for now they should be bargaining process. The buyer and the seller should be willing to exchange commodities. I don’t think the buyer wants to be exploited and equally the producer does not want to be exploited.”
The Food Reserve Agency announced its buying price of maize yesterday, pegging the commodity at K60 for a 50kg bag.
The agency explained that the price had dropped on tge basis of supply and demand as well as regional pricing of the commodity.