President Lungu and First Lady Esther Lungu during a tour of stands at show grounds

President Edgar Lungu has said that the decision to peg the market price of maize at K60 per 50kg by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was not made by him but the Agency alone.

Speaking when he conducted a pre-tour of the stands at the 91 st Agriculture and Commercial Show, President Lungu said he will not intervene to adjust the maize market price this time around and took the opportunity to call on Zambians to export the excess maize.

President Lungu said local entrepreneurs should take advantage of the bumper harvest and liberal market to trade and export the commodity to other countries such as Kenya and Tanzania for their businesses to grow.

The President said neighbouring countries are awash with market opportunities for the maize crop.

Farmers are saddened that Government, through the FRA, can announce the price of K60 per 50kgs bag when the cost of production is far much higher. Farmers have therefore, placed their hopes in the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) as their mouth piece to renegotiate with government over the pricing.

In Mumbwa, farmers have expressed disappointment at the prices of maize and soybeans which have kept nose-diving and in turn affecting their incomes A check at Badat, which is the largest grain buyer in Mumbwa, found prices of maize had reduced from K55/50kg bag to K52/50kg bag and soybeans from K115/50kg bag to K110/50kg bag. This development has worried farmers saying the cost of production was higher than the prices the commodities are being pegged at. Another check at NWK ginnery, which previously was buying at K60/50kg bag of maize, found reduced prices of K55/50kg bag.

In Solwezi, despite the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) beginning its maize marketing on 1st August 2017, no farmer has so far supplied any single bag of maize to the FRA. This is because the farmers are not happy with the pricing of K60 for a 50 kg bag of maize. On the other hand, some buyers who were buying a 50 kg bag of maize at K70, reduced
the price to K60 per 50 kg bag immediately the Agency announced the price of K60. A check conducted on Wednesday by ZNFU at FRA main shed found a dreary situation with stranded looking deport supervisors with their scales and empty grain bags.

Farmers who visited the ZNFU office vowed not to sell their produce to the Agency if they maintained the K60 price. Farmers also complained bitterly saying maize farming was no longer an attractive business venture looking at the high cost of inputs and challenges encountered during this just ended farming season like Fall Army Worms and Red locusts. Farmers appealed to ZNFU to help them find alternative profitable markets.

In Mutunga Camp Northern block of Katete, Eastern Province, farmers on Tuesday expressed displeasure with FRA’s low Market price. This was during a camp agriculture committee (CAC). Farmers also complained of long distances to the new depot as the only depot in the camp has been shut. There are no private buyers in the area as the road and geographical terrain is very bad. The camp boasts of high production of maize, soya beans and cotton. The major markets for this camp are FRA and cotton companies. But cotton companies such as NWK and Cargill are only buying cotton in the camp leaving over 2000 farmers stranded with markets for maize. The CAC appealed to ZNFU to help farmers in the camp with better markets, saying if it means the whole camp joining ZNFU to access better markets they would do so without hesitation.

In Kasama, farmers are stranded with maize due to lack of maize market following the announcement of low buying price of K60 per 50kg by the FRA. Most farmers have held on to their crop waiting for FRA to adjust the price upward or sell to any buyer who can offer a reasonable price. Farmers have since challenged FRA to explain the logic behind the reduction of maize price as the price of inputs and replanting was very high.

In Mbala District, farmers are still anxiously waiting for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to review the maize price. The K60 FRA maize price has brought about panic and anxiety
among farmers. Some private buyers have taken advantage of the low FRA market price and are offering farmers as low as K 55 per 50 kg bag of white maize on cash basis, which many farmers are saying is just a drop in the ocean. A random survey conducted in some selected Information Centres, found that farmers are longing to know if the Agency will make any adjustments to the maize price for the 2017 marketing season.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. On this subject I have to ask the President to fire Dora for poor advice!
    Only a few cartels mostly an oligarchy of Greek millers and fat rich Zambian middlemen such as GBV will benefit from the export of maize.
    The process of getting an export permit is not straight forward and is difficult for local small scale farmers! If we had hardworking ministers of Agric and Finance they should’ve created a framework to allow all local cooperatives to organise the export of maize! So sad and as a result we will face a danger of less prodcution in 2017-2018 leading to a possibility of importing which will be more expensive than a slight increase of jus 30ngwe per kg! But opposition is silent on this as they want to see the nation starve next year!!! So sad!!!!!

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    • Even about HH, Edgar says he has nothing to do with it.
      The only thing he has accepted is outrageous theft at as state.

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    • @2020

      Now that you have just awaken from slumber to realise that PF are a bunch of incompetent id1ots and their actions affect you directly, you want the opposition to voice this concern. How diabolical!

      I have told you minions several times that this Lungu and PF you support will not anything good for Zambians except to enrich tgem selves.

      Lungu is preaching virtue but practices treachery by encouraging Zambians to export their maize when he knows that only top PF stooges can get export permits. Maize exports will only benefit Top PF thieves and not hard working farmers

      Lungu and all PF minions are id10ts who need removing by any means.

      Free HH

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    • @2020

      How do you expect the opposition to do anything when Lungu has HH in JAIL on trumped up charges???

      Face the facts, PF has killed off the opposition and Zambia is back to being a ONE PARTY STATE.

      YOU should have objected when the election was rigged by Ugandans in the servers and the G12 forms were missing. Now you must accept being stolen from or join HH in jail.

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  2. 2020 vision to include the opposition for not being vocal against your patry’s regime is illogical . You are trying to deflect responsibility from a regime that campaigned that campaigned as being pro poor. You are a reasonable blogger so acknowledge where the problem stems from. Tbe pf regime!

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  3. Dear farmers,
    In other words, the president is saying you are on your own! Don’t count on his support. Simple and klaar

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  4. Wish i had made all this as one post. HE ECL is kwik to claim kudos when things are going well ,as soon as there is a problem he distances himself..it is not good. As the head of a regime he is ultimately responsible for the good AND badvfor what happens under his watch.

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  5. Fellow Farmers the message is clear. We are on our own especially those of us who don’t get FISP from Dora Siliya. Foe each bag sold at K60, I will surely lose K15 excluding the cost of time. When is 2021 coming kanshi mwebantu?

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  6. Really laughable …this Bum was more than happy last year to state that PF and him had personally pegged the maize price to assist farmers during campaigning…now you docile fooools have voted him in there is no need for him to intervene maybe in 2021 when you have forgotten!!

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  7. Comment: ….and the government has it wants to encourage farmers to grow more food???????????

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  8. Thank you for observing boundaries in governance.

    The President should not be blamed for not interfering.

    On the maize price, farmers should have set the price, not FRA the customer.

    Crazy!

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  9. Who appoints the board and management at FRA. All board members are approved by the Minister who reports and is appointed by the President. So I strongly feel the President can still intervene directly or indirectly

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  10. The first time this issue came up, he said he was too busy and won’t intervene. What has changed now? My 10,000 bags are already in DRC @$100 a bag. That is the speed of business. Fellow farmers, stop depending on GRZ! It’s a failed enterprise! To be successful in farming, you have to find the market first before you plant whatever you will plant! It’s a wake up call! Politicians are the same! Full of half truths and lies!

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  11. All farmers should agree to hold on to the maize. Don’t sell to anyone. Eventually, as the rainy season draws closer, FRA will panic and offer a sensible price. What is baffling though, is that it has never been clear at any given time under this regime, what the agricultural policy actually is.

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  12. FRA is 100 % owned by GRZ and the Act establishing the Agency is administered by the Minister of Agriculture. Thru Ministry of Agriculture GRZ regulates and oversees the Sector. National supply of maize is a priority since maize is Zambia’s staple food. FRA should give a viable price to the farmer and Lungu thru his Minister of Agriculture should ensure that farmers stay in business and produce a maize crop next season. Siliya and Lungu must address the fears of the Farmers. The back stops with Lungu and he should take responsibility for the FRA maize price decision. Lungu should learn to accept Responsibility. HH is in Jail today becoz Lungu arrested him, charged him with Treason and incarcerated him. Lungu is the Head of State and control guns, bombs, Prisons, Courts and GRZ and…

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  13. Bumper Harvest. That’s the operative word. Let’s keep this trend, because it shows, our Agricultural efforts are yielding rewards. Market Forces must be adhered to. High Supply outstripping Demand will give a lower return but that is the Market price. Be of Goid a Cheer, since we had a draught, low rains and Army Worm infestation in the last growing season. It’s a wonder we have become the Land of the Bumper Harvests.

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  14. This is exactly what happens with copper. The buyer fix the price without factoring in the cost of production and transportation but mining as usual keeps going. Grain marketing just like copper has windfall and farmers should realise this.

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  15. Just a few months ago the price mealie meal was above k100 we complained, if maize is bought at a high price even the price of mealie meal will go up and again we will complain,Zambians, how much should govt subsidize the farmers,

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  16. Farmers should unite and demand K80. None of them should sell below K80. FRA will be forced to buy at that price

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  17. What is Esther printing there? Does she understand what she is printing there? The husband the whole entire of the president does not know who put prizes on maize mwebantu sure?

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  18. For those of us who grew up strapped to our mothers back whilst she hoed the field…… i cry blood for the peasant farmers who barely can put shoes on their childrens feet in these economic times.

    Its nice giving out comments behind a desk from lusaka. But how life is in a grass thatch house in the village, only those who are suffering know.

    Please Mr President, whether its your department or what, step in as the father of this nation. Help those who are crying out. Please help our fellow countrymen and women.

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