Peasant farmers load their maize into a truck before transportation to an FRA depot in chief Mulala’s area. Agriculture faces many challenges in the area and this fuels poverty.

Farmers in Kaoma District have commended President Edgar Lungu for appealing to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to revisit the K65 maize floor price for this year.

Speaking on behalf of other farmers, Mwendabai Sitali told ZANIS that it was gratifying that President Lungu came to the aid of farmers adding that the set floor price did not conform to the cost of production.

Mr Sitali noted that the move by the Head of State was a clear indication that he attached great importance to the agricultural sector as a driver to the country’s economy.

The farmer added that nobody should politicise this noble cause because it was clear that some stakeholders, especially the farmers were not happy with the current floor price.

Mr Sitali said it was important for FRA to always involve all stakeholders when making important national decisions such as pricing of commodities.

Mr Sitali disclosed that though some farmers were selling their maize to briefcase businessmen at K60 per 50 kilogram bag of maize, that did not mean FRA should offer something lower.

He said farmers were selling their maize to private individuals to sustain their livelihood whilst waiting for FRA to announce the floor price for this season.

Mr Sitali noted that K65 was lower than what the farmers expected, adding that the trend by FRA to offer lower buying prices will discourage farmers from growing more maize.

He was optimistic that the President’s intervention would yield positive results that would make both parties happy.

Yesterday whilst in Eastern Province, President Lungu called on FRA to revisit the K65 announcement of maize floor price

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This is good news. Abash millers who want to exploit farmers and who are using underhand methods to influence decisions on the maize floor price.
    Farmers should not get anything less than K1.5 Per kg even K2 per kg is fair when you consider the hell farmers go through to grow this maize.

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  2. Even if they revise the price, what difference will it make if say K10 is added? This is wrong to begin with. They should have take into account the price of fertilizer last season, seeds and labor included. Let the markets determine the price as we are in a free market economy. Why should they set the price and force farmers to accept this bull crap? A 50kg in congo or at the boarder will be in the range of K120 and the farmer will reap the benefits of his labor.

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  3. Problem is with the farmers. Soybeans sells at k120 per 50kg but farmers are happier growing maize.

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  4. The intervention is wrong and bad for business. We are told that farming is a business and the farmers involved are supposed to chart the direction! Remember,FRA is not the only buyer and it is not mandatory to sell to FRA only! Sell to anyone who can offer you a better price!!

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  5. Agreed but then government must allow exports of maize so farmers can get the best price. It’s no good offering this low price to farmers and banning exports. How are farmers to find the best price if millers know there is a surplus (estimated over 300,000mt this year) and exports are banned. Of course millers will get away offering a much lower price as they know full well supply exceeds demand. The export market must be kept open to offer farmers proper options to sell their maize. For government to say go find a good price when they know they have flooded market by banning exports is not helping farmers at all.

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