The Zambia National Farmers Union says President Edgar Lungu’s intervention on the K60 market price has come at the right time.
The Food Reserve Agency set K60 for a 50kg bag of maize as the market price but ZNFU rejected it saying it was unfair on farmers as they would make huge losses.
On July 26, President Lungu said he would not interfere with the maize price because he did not want to politicize production.
“When you go to the market, there should be a willing buyer and a willing seller. I think a consensus must be achieved somehow. Those who produce maize know what they put in, they know what to expect. Those who are buying also know what they are offering so find a medium somehow. I don’t want to politicize production, production should be economical so those who are engaged in activities should be rewarded and I think when they are giving them too much money, that’s bad, too low money, that’s bad so in the end at the market there should be a willing buyer, a willing seller,” said President Lungu.
But his press aide Amos Chanda told journalists at State House yesterday that President Lungu was concerned about the challenges which farmers were facing and he would relook the low maize price.
Welcoming the move in a statement today, ZNFU president Jervis Zimba said he looked forward to the intervention.
“The Zambia National Farmers Union welcomes the stance by Government to consider revisiting the pricing of maize of K60 by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). The intervention comes at the time just when farmers needed it. We reaffirm as farmers to play our part for the country to realise the dream of making agriculture the mainstay of the economy and being the food basket of the region,” stated Zimba.
“We look forward to the intervention, which as farmers gives us fresh hope of making investments that will help us grow the country’s agriculture. Agriculture remains the most realistic pathway of lifting the majority of Zambians out of poverty.”