Traditional Leader Applauds Govt for Motivating Farmers with Higher Maize Price


Chief Sandwe of the Nsenga Speaking people of Lusangazi district in Eastern Province has praised Government for increasing the white maize buying price to K 280.00 per 50 Kilogram bag in the 2023 crop marketing season from the previous price of K180.00.

The Traditional leader told the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS in a telephone interview today that this year’s maize price was excellent and a motivation to most farmers.

The traditional leader however called on the government to be advising farmers in advance which crop to focus on during cultivation which would be bought by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to avoid a situation where farmers focused on a crop that would not be bought.

Chief Sandwe said it was because of the current situation where FRA was not going to buy Soya beans this season when most farmers in his Chiefdom had produced enough of the commodity but had no stable market for it.

He noted that the idea of FRA not to buy Soya beans this season would advantage the briefcase buyers to buy the produce at a very low price, adding that it was better if the agency announced the price for Soya beans despite not buying it.

“The price for maize for this year is excellent and motivating to our farmers but the idea of FRA not announcing the price of soya beans and not buying it this year is demotivating because the briefcase buyers will take advantage of the situation and buy Soya beans at a very low price.

I think the Government must be advising farmers in advance on which crops to focus on to avoid such situations,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Martin Mbewe, a farmer from Village 42 in Riverside area of Lusangazi district called on the government to consider finding an alternative market for Soya beans with a good price.

“The challenge is that most farmers have harvested plenty of Soya beans of which FRA said it will not buy and so, my appeal is that the government should find us another market for Soya beans,’’ he said.

Another farmer, Sarah Phiri, from Village 65 in Ukwimi area explained that a lot of farmers who grew soya beans had plans that after selling the produce, they would use part of the money to buy maize for consumption.

“We had to grow enough Soya beans last rainy season because we had plans to sell it at a good price and buy maize. So, the government must consider our cry,’’ she said.

Liya Mwanza another farmer from Village 62 said she was happy with the K 280-00 per 50 Kilogram bag of maize, adding that, the price of Soya beans must also improve further if farmers were to realize the much-needed profit from their hard earned labour.

Ms Mwanza said most of the maize harvested this year was not promising in the area due to calamities such as floods and farmers relied on Soya beans to give them enough money after selling the crop.

“The price of maize is just okay but the maize from farmers this season is not enough because we had floods and fields were swept away. Our only hope was to sell the Soya beans which performed well so that the money can assist us in buying more maize and other stufF,’’ she said.

The Food Reserve Agency announced the 2023 buying price for two crops produced which are white maize at K 280-00 per 50 Kilogram bag and paddy rice at K 200-00 per 40 Kilogram bag.


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