Zambia National Farmers Union vice-president Austin Sinachize says the union will continue urging farmers to hold on to their maize not until the Food Reserve Agency sets a good price.
Recently, FRA threatened to sue ZNFU for asking farmers to protest the K60 maize market price by holding on to their maize.
But in a statement issued by ZNFU Media Liaison Officer Calvin Kaleyi today, Sinachize said the union is ready to face FRA in court.
“We, as farmers, are the owners of the commodity and we are ready to be sued for refusing to sell our crop for a pittance. The buyer cannot dictate the price at which to buy the crop. The producer, the seller should. If FRA thinks the solution lies in the court process, we are ready to face them. But as far as ZNFU is concerned, we are still waiting for a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture whom we wrote a letter to, so that the farmers’ cry can be heard,” said Sinachize.
“We will still go ahead a prompt the farmers to hold on to their maize until we get a better price. No amount of pressure or threats will stop farmers from getting a good price because farmers have been patriotic to mother Zambia for growing the staple crop and need to regenerate money for further investments. The best route to take is for the FRA to come to the negotiating table with farmers, failure to which we will continue holding onto our maize until we get a better price. The Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) is relishing the Food Reserve Agency (FRA)’s threat of legal action over our concerns about the poor maize market price of K60 for 50kg bag of maize.”