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Alba Iulia
Sunday, September 25, 2022

Farmers Union taking offence at the availability of cheap fresh vegetables shocks Consumer Association

General News Farmers Union taking offence at the availability of cheap fresh vegetables shocks...

The Zambia Consumer Association is shocked that the Zambia National Farmers Union is offended with the availability of cheaper fresh commodities such as cabbages and tomatoes on the market.

Association Executive Secretary Juba Sakala says the desire of consumers is to have cheaper food on the market and it is unfair for the Union to push for higher food prices on the market.

Mr. Sakala has since commended the farmers who are supplying the fresh commodities on the market to continue as it is helping people to have access to nutritious food.

yesterday the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) expressed concern about over supplying and dumping of several fresh commodities, such as cabbages and tomatoes on the market.

ZNFU Public Relations Manager Kakoma Kaleyi said the dumping which is done by a few known farmers who are supplying the market with fresh commodities on a daily basis is causing a significant drop in commodity prices, resulting in many farmers producing at a loss.

Mr Kaleyi said that the over-supply of these fresh vegetables is part of the losses that is hurting the farmers, especially the small scale and emergent farmers, some of whom are contemplating to stop production altogether, adding that the Union is working with the Lusaka City Council and the Ministry of Local Government to formalize and operationalize structured fruits and vegetable markets, including a structured “Agents systems” at markets, which would see Agents get formal recognition as commodity handlers for farmers.

Mr Kaleyi urged farmers to continue producing and spreading their produce across all markets.

Mr Keleyi called on the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Local Government and the Council to take keen interest in the new development which is happening for the first time in the country.

“We urge these known farmers who are growing massive hectares of tomatoes to get into value addition as opposed to dumping their products at Soweto, Copperbelt and Kasumbalesa markets, We are calling on the farmers involved in this dumping to refrain from this vice as this is distorting the market and creating unfair competition,”Mr Kaleyi stated.

He explained that the dangers of what is going on is that the small-scale and emergent farmers will stop producing tomatoes which may result in the country importing tomatoes in an event that such commercial farmers encounter challenges such as diseases or calamity.

“We should take a leaf from the poultry industry where those with big volumes are in processing and those with smaller numbers are selling live birds. And hence our advice to these known farmers is to get into value addition as what they are doing will not be accepted anymore,” Mr Kaleyi noted.

8 COMMENTS

  1. ZNFU has always been an elite farmers union. They are not being fair with this complaint of theirs, even in developed nations there are no restrictions for farmers to peddle their produce on the open market. As it stands marketeers are already paying a levy each time they sale produce at a market. Increasing the amount of regulation and levies they pay will negatively impact vegetable production.

  2. ZNFU just needs to voluntarily close, how can they just be looking at one side of the coin, their profits? We need cheap food on the market, times are hard, instead they should be lobbying for cheaper seed and inputs so that even with the increased supply they remain profitable

  3. Where is the stoned farmer De ja vu ??

    He claims to be a farmer , but only shows up to complain about PF theives being investigated……..

    • F.o.ol you want me to comment like you without even understanding the issue? Only a f.o.ol like you and znuf doesn’t know that things like tomato thrive during time of the year. In a couple of months there will be no tomatoes to flood the market

  4. The concern by ZNFU is valid because these losses farmers have incurred this season will translate into less production the next season which will in turn lead to commodity shortages. This is were agronomists must come to help with forecasts. Farmers in Zambia go into production not knowing how much they must produce and how much return they will realize. ZNFU must have a database to help their members with planning. It’s painful that most of the food produced in Zambia go to waste despite the high malnutrition levels. Soon many mangoes and mushrooms will again go to waste. Why is Government offering free education if our educated experts can’t find solutions to these challenges? Apart from being cowards, the educated are big let down

  5. ZNFU is,just a cartel of farmers trying to milk consumers so that their members continue enjoying the elite lifestyle that they are used to. This are the guys that forced the potato and onion ban which has now resulted in consumers buying a pocket of 10kg potatoes at K150 from the previous K80. Onions its even worse now a pocket is going at K280 from the previous K90. Even at those old prices they were making a profit now the profit had trebled or even quadrupled.

Comments are closed.

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