Eastern farmers unhappy with maize floor price
Chipata, May 15, ZANIS ——– Chipata District Farmers Association (CDFA) Coordinator, Virgil Malambo has challenged government to allow farmers to export their maize in order to fetch a fair price as the maize floor price that was announced yesterday is a mockery.
Mr Malambo observed that there was a maize shortage in the Southern region and that farmers could take advantage of the shortage to export their maize at a good price.
Speaking to ZANIS in Chipata this morning, Mr Malambo said it would be better to allow the farmers to export their maize in order for them to realize profits from their sweat.
Mr Malambo said the maize floor price that was announced by Agriculture Minister Robert Sichinga yesterday would disadvantage the farmers whose yields had been poor due to the late delivery of inputs by government.
He stated that it was unfair to remove subsidies on fuel and later maintain the market floor price because the transportation of the commodity to markets had increased.
“How can farmers realize monies from farming when the cost of doing business has increased yet the price of their produce has been maintained since the MMD regime!” he wondered.
Mr Malambo also noted that the removal of subsidies on maize would also affect the poor farmers who had been forced to buy mealie meal because they did not produce enough maize due to late delivery of farming inputs and poor rainfall pattern in the last farming season.
But Eastern province PF Chairperson, Mike Tembo advised people in the province to be calm as the impact of the removal of the subsidies on mealie meal and fuel would be short lived.
Speaking on a radio Feel Free programme dubbed the Big Issue; Mr Tembo said people would see the benefits in the long run and that even the poor would be happy with the removal of the subsidies.
Mr Tembo has since called for patience as the PF government meant well and would soon address the Zambian citizenry.
Government yesterday announced that it would maintain the maize market floor price at K65 and the immediately removed subsidies on mealie meal.