—–Government has appealed to farmers in Kawambwa district in Luapula Province not to sell their maize to briefcase business people.
Kawambwa District Commissioner (DC), Ivo Mpasa, says there is need for
farmers to wait for the opening of the marketing season by the Food
Reserve Agency (FRA) so that they can sell their crop at good prices.
ZANIS reports that Mr Mpasa said this yesterday when he officially opened a meeting of farmers in the Kawambwa District Council Chamber.
The DC said government has observed with sadness that farmers in the area sell their crops to briefcase business persons at give-away prices after toiling almost the whole year in their farms.
Mr Mpasa wondered why farmers must suffer the whole year to grow crops and only to give everything away at very cheap prices.
He said government is aware that a lot of business people have gone into farms to by maize at cheap prices with the intentions of re-selling to the FRA.
In a related development, Mr Mpasa has advised farmers not to sell all their crops, but to instead ensure that they reserve enough for consumption up to the next crop marketing season.
He said it is disappointing that some farmers sell all their maize without leaving some for consumption and end up going to buy mealie-meal in shops.
The DC wondered why a farmer would sell all their 50 kg bags of maize at a cost of K7O each, remain with nothing and then start buying a 25 Kilogram bag of mealie-meal at over 70 Kwacha per bag.
Mr Mpasa said there is need for farmers to be aware that the best Food Reserve Agents are themselves if they are to become food secured.
Hordes of briefcase business persons in Kawambwa district have besieged farms where they are buying maize at an average price of K45, which they plan to re-sell to the FRA at K70.