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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The mood among farmers is ” grow maize at your own peril”-Jervis Zimba

Economy The mood among farmers is " grow maize at your own peril"-Jervis...

Jervis Zimba
Jervis Zimba
The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) successfully held its 112 th Annual Congress with the Union president Mr. Jervis Zimba saying the mood surrounding the maize production; the country’s staple food; is grow maize if you have already secured a market … otherwise “grow maize at your own peril”.

In a stunning address to Congress, graced by the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Mr. Zimba called on government to foster predictable marketing policies to enable various players in the value chain make a reasonable return on the investments and sustain operations. The ZNFU president said maize production in Zambia is under serious jeopardy.

And Mr. Zimba bemoaned the increased involvement of government in doing business saying this is generating concerns among the agribusinesses at it is having distortionary effects.

“Indeed, competition in business is healthy and should be encouraged but it should be on a level playing field. This is because the private sector stake investments are based on funds sourced on commercial terms while when government gets involved in business, the resources are obtained from sources that have soft terms. Here, our appeal is that prior consultations with the private sector should be done in developing investment promotion strategies to avoid new investments having distorting effects on existing businesses.”

And Farmers in Lufwanyama District of the Copperbelt have vowed not to grow maize during the 2017/2018 farming season unless they are guaranteed of good markets and prices.ZNFU Farmers decried the nonchalant attitude by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) when looking at the farmer or producer price for maize saying the K60/50kg bag has ‘killed them. ‘

Farmers also bemoaned the increase in fuel prices. They said this will in turn add to the
cost of transportation of the commodity to market and pushes them into making more
losses. The farmers disclosed that they are being charged K5000 to load 600 bags of
maize on a truck and are also being levied K1 per bag by the Council.

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  1. There is a saying which applies particularly to farmers and voters,,as you sow so shall you reap.
    Now our president has said more armed forces and they will be involved in farming.. you the tax paying farmers are atually paying your competitor, the armed services.
    Zambia the real africa.

    • This failure of the govt to set a reasonable price for a bag of maize will not only cost votes come 2021 but will greatly negatively affect the economy. Many people such as retrenched miners went into farming last season and have now experienced huge losses, miners from Kalulushi, Kitwe, Roan and Mpatamato, Mufulira, Chingola etc etc, then you have rural dwellers that are in serious debt as a result of burrowing money for inputs. With less cash flow in the rural areas we are seeing less business in the urban areas as often after selling their maize or soya the farmers would spend their money in town. The evoucher FISP program is a real failure and won’t manage to cover the huge requirement for inputs from farmers. Most farmers depend on buying the inputs themselves and not through FISP.

    • Ctn…Some of us along with the ZNFU President Zimba spelled it out to the govt that set a realistic price of K1.5 per kg translating into K75 per bag. The state woul’ve spent only an extra USD15 million dollars (less than what the govt spent on 42 fire tenders) for the purchase of the allocated 500,000 tons of maize. The setting of such a price wouldve prevented middle men maize buyers from taking advantage of the farmers with prices as low as 80ngwee per 50kg bag. So sad we have advisors who fail the President for their own selfish needs. Dora Siliya her PS Shawa and Finance Minister Mutati you should be held directly responsible for the anguish and suffering that has been caused and will most likely increase next year.

    • So what has happened here is millers and middle men becoming 100 times richer than they were before. Such a sad state of affairs!

      Millers are selling their maize to the UN’s WFP at K160 per bag and they are buying the same maize as low as K40 per bag! This belief that millers are adding value is false as many are infact exporting unprocessed maize. What kind of profit making is this????

      Had farmers been able to sell their maize at a good price they would’ve been able to purchase inputs for this coming season without depending on this fake evoucher. What a great injustice at play.

    • Maybe we should disband the army if they have nothing to do or drastically reduce their numbers we can’t have this farming army,ZNS,PS next it will be ZAF and ZP

  2. 2020 sometimes we dont agree but your synopsis on this is spot on.
    Add to this that kwacha is now 10.09 to $ then u will find that most of our day to day commodities will increase because of our dependence on imported products. Well articulated 2020 Vision

  3. World market price for corn with 15.5% moisture is us $3.51 per bushell which equates to appeox 72kr per 50kg bag. You are near on the mark 2020 vision

  4. These guys will never be serious they said government Will issue a statement on the distribution of 2017/18 farming inputs on Friday 27 October2017. Whats the latest

  5. we dont care if you wont grow maize GOVERNMENT shall import from CHINA where they grow maize but used to feed PIGS ONLY . We shall sell u the imported maize of which u will have no choice but to buy .BOMA ni BOMA Dont compete with boma olo kuipasa malamulo yanyoko

    • bwana anyoko I hope you are zambian but let’s be realistic the farmers will grow maize just for their families and a lot of us do not even remember the last day we were holding a hoe in hands, the farmers are saying we can not be investing with expensive seeds, fertilizer and all that labour just to make a loss I mean just put yourself in their shoes, this affects us all!!

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