The Zambia National Farmers Union has rejected the K110 maize buying price offered by the Food Reserve Agency for a 50kg bag of maize for this year’s crop marketing season.
This follows consultations the Union had with its members which took into consideration the economic downturn and rising cost of production and cost of doing business.
ZNFU Media and Public Relations Manager Calvin Kaleyi has observed that there were major increases in the cost of fertilizer, seed, chemicals, transport, electricity, and labour among others since the last farming season which raised the cost of production.
Mr Kaleyi says these have not been factored in before arriving at the FRA floor price as the K110 is what was offered last season.
He said ZNFU is mindful that of the 3.3 million metric tonnes announced by the government, 1.3 million metric tonnes were grown by farmers that are not under the Farmer Input Support Programme, and with such a price offer, these farmers will be rendered bankrupt.
Mr. Kaleyi has implored the FRA to always state which stakeholders they consulted over the pricing, as they stated that they consulted widely which the ZNFU was not a party to.
He said the ZNFU foresees history repeating itself in that next year there will be a decline in maize production.
Mr. Kaleyi says it is obvious that the FRA and the Ministry of Agriculture do not learn lessons from the past and is appealing to all farmers to remain united as they engage government over this depressing price.