ZNFU has appealed to the newly appointed Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo and Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Kampamba Mulenga to maintain high levels of consultation with the agricultural stakeholders to make collective positions on policy issues.

And Zambia National Farmers’ Union says Zambians should brace themselves for price hikes in all farm products, as influenced by the increase in fuel pump prices.

ZNFU Media and Public Relations Manager Calvin Kaleyi said in an interview with News Diggers! that the union hopes to see consultative efforts from the new ministers in charge of agriculture.

“With these new appointments, lets continue with stakeholder consultation. The new Minister of Agriculture the one for Fisheries and Livestock should continue consulting us and other stakeholders on issues of agriculture so that we make collective positions on issues of policy and agricultural growth,” Kaleyi said.

“As Zambia National Farmers’ Union we are open to consultation from the new ministers. And our advice for the new ministers, which is fisheries and Livestock and also Agriculture, is that we heighten the issues of consultation in the way we are going to implement policy so that we know which direction the agriculture sector is taking. If you lack consistence you will not have proper direction.”

And Kaleyi said that prices of farm products and all other commodities would definitely go up due to the increase in fuel prices.

“If the price of fuel goes up, everything else goes up. The increase in fuel prices is a trigger to the increase of all the commodities including agriculture products and all other products as long as there is transportation involved. Because if I’m going to ferry my tomatoes from my farm to the market, there is a cost. If the cost [fuel] has increased meaning someone has to bear the cost, I will have to pass the cost to someone. Normally the people that will bear the consequences are the consumers. Definitely you should expect a knock on effect on all the commodities and services. Farmers cannot maintain the cost at the same level when they are incurring new costs. Expect a trigger. You increase transport, its going to also trigger the spike in issues of food staff and other commodities,” said Kaleyi.

Retailers have recently started hiking mealie-meal prices by an average of between K4 attributing the increment to the recently announced adjustment in fuel prices.