The Food Reserve Agency has urged farmers to prioritise household food security as they begin to harvest their crops and only resort to selling when they have excess produce.
FRA Public Relations Coordinator John Chipandwe says this is because national food security begins at household level.
Mr Chipandwe said farmers therefore need to store sufficient food for domestic future use before selling any of their produce to interested buyers.
He said in a statement that farmers need to reflect on the previous farming season and draw lessons from the drought experienced and stock up sufficient food for future use.
Mr Chipandwe said in as much as the country is likely to record a bumperharvest for the 2019/2020 farming season, farmers need to be wary of the changing climatic weather pattern hence the need to plan ahead and store enough food for their households.
And Mr Chipandwe has urged farmers countrywide to ensure that they negotiate for competitive prices and not sell their produce at giveaway prices as is currently being reported.
He said those interested in selling their produce to the Agency should take note that the Agency will enter the market once the moisture content of maize reaches the required moisture level of 12.5 percent.
Mr Chipandwe has commended farmers that have sold their crops to the Agency in the past for their contribution in making the country food secure as the Agency depends on small scale farmers to replenish its national strategic food reserves.
He said with the adequately stocked national strategic food reserves, the Agency is able to respond to national emergencies such as floods, drought, mealie meal shortages or high mealie meal prices.
Mr Chipandwe has since urged farmers play their role in helping Zambia become food secure by selling part of their excess produce to the Agency which is mandated to manage national strategic food reserves.