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Alba Iulia
Friday, April 23, 2021

Food security threatened in Chipangali District

General News Food security threatened in Chipangali District

Several small scale in Chipangali District in Eastern Province are threatened with hunger because most of them have sold their entire crop to briefcase traders way before it was ready for harvest.

The traders invaded Chipangali District early in the farming season enticing farmers to sell food crops such as maize for as low as K2.00 per kilogram.

ZANIS reports that even farmers growing cash crops like tobacco and soya beans were not spared, as they were enticed to sell their crops in the field way before it was ready for harvest.

A check in some villages in Chief Chanje’s area has revealed that some farmers confirmed entering into agreement with briefcase buyers and it is only now that farmers are realising that they sold the crop cheaply.

Ms Juliet Tembo, a farmer in the area, has sympathized with the affected farmers, adding that it was not their wish to prematurely sell their crop as they were forced to do so because they needed quick money to buy food and school requisites for their children.

“Yes, some farmers got money from these briefcase buyers even before they start harvesting their crops. It is not their wish but they do not have money to buy food and send their children to school,’’ Ms. Tembo said.

But Chipangali District Agricultural Coordinator Frederick Mwansa said it was unfortunate that farmers sold their crops early and cheaply just because they wanted to pay school fees hence falling prey to the scheme.

Mr Mwansa noted that even though the crop marketing has been liberalised, it was saddening to see the private sector enticing farmers to sell the crop that is still in the field at a lower price.

“Even if the crop marketing has been liberalised, farmers should not sell their crops before they even harvest at prices as low as K 2.00 per kilogram way back in January and February. This means that a person who is benefiting is a briefcase buyer at the expense of a farmer,’’ Mr. Mwansa said.

He has advised the farmers always wait for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) which announces the prices of crops, adding that resorting to selling crops before harvest subjects farmers to poor bargaining power for selling their crop.

11 COMMENTS

  1. My mbuya’s also!!! How does one sink so low and sell fresh crops even before harvest time. Izakunyokolani njala amambala.

  2. The greedy farmers sold their crop too early, used up the money, and now they want a hand out? They wouldn’t get anything from me!

  3. I was almost saying it’s their fault but hv withdrawn the statement. Less-sophisticated citizens need state protection from unscrupulous individuals who are out to exploit them. Boma iyanganepo.

  4. Idiocy at best if you ask me. No one was coerced into selling their produce. If you have a 10 hectare farm, you may sell have before harvest and the other half after, and keeping some for your consumption of course.
    These buyers are simply doing business, and they take a risk buying before the produce is ready, there is always a risk of an act of God or indeed the product being stolen hence the low amount.
    The buyers are able to buy because our citizens are both hungry and ignorant.

  5. Chiza Chirwa: shut up, u don’t understand why humans hv established the state. If only u understood the essence of civilisation u wouldn’t say such things. Less sophisticated members of our society need protection. Villagers lead peaceful lives in the countryside and bother no-one. They deserve protection from cowboy businessmen.

  6. Those peasant farmers are adults and know very well what they are doing. In commodity dealings things are bought in future before they are even ready so those farmers have just graduated to a higher level of doing things. We are aware that the Zambian economy is liberalized and why should one make political capital out of this.

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