NAREP has said Zambia could become a food basket for the region because of its agricultural potential and have reminded the PF government time and time again that if they were a caring government this could be accomplished.
This is according to a press statement released to the media.
NAREP says the government has no good plan to support good agriculture policies starting from lowering the cost of inputs.
This can they say can be seen by the offer the government has given to farmers to sell their 50 KG bag of maize from the previous K60 to K65 which is a mockery to the farmers.
Farmers this coming season not to grow maize but try other crops that may bring some profit
The cost of input including transport and fuel has escalated but government has continued suppressing the market price for the commodity. NAREP therefore asks farmers not to sell maize at K65 to FRA as they will make losses. Let them hold on to the maize or find ways to export and sell to governments that are serious than ours. We expected the bag to fetch over K80 and government must increase the flow price to K85 for a 50Kg bag.
Government should realise that farming is a business and what they are doing to farmers is unacceptable. NAREP also urges our farmers this coming season not to grow maize but try other crops that may bring some profit to them and send their children to school.
Growing maize in Zambia should only be for consumption and once we have a crisis and shortage of commodity that’s when it will fetch for a high price. Farmers need to teach this government a lesson as they don’t care about them.
If we had a proper rewarding agriculture policy, many youths today would have gone back to the land to go and grow many other crops apart from just maize.
Meanwhile the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) says now that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has announced the maize prices, the millers will go in full force to purchase the crops.
MAZ Chairman Andrew Chintala told QTV News via telephone that the millers are already on the market buying the maize but that some farmers were hesitant to sell their produce as they were waiting for the FRA price.
Mr. Chitantala has also commended the government through the FRA for increasing the price of the crops saying last year the farmers complained of the price.
He said the association is glad that they were consulted by the FRA in deciding how the market should be managed.