Senior chief Shakumbila of Mumbwa district in Central province has appealed to government to open the maize marketing season early this year to save farmers from being exploited by private buyers.
Chief Shakumbila said farmers in Mumbwa district have for a long time suffered at the hands of private buyers who offer maize exploitatively low prices.
He said the private buyers, commonly known as briefcase buyers, take advantage of farmers’ desperation to get quick money since it takes long for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to start buying maize.
The traditional leader, who was speaking during the flagging off of the Mumbwa Cotton Value Chain Project by Commerce, Trade, and Industry Minister Robert Sichinga in Mumbwa yesterday, said the trend would only end if FRA was beginning the maize buying exercise early.
Chief Shakumbila however commended government for embarking on a number of developmental projects in the country.
He said the current government has shown seriousness in developing the country as it is carrying out projects that past governments failed to do.