FRA maintains maize floor price

The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Board says it will maintain the K60 maize price for a 50kg bag.

This follows a recent meeting involving the FRA management and Zambia National Farmers Union during which meeting the farmers union asked for the price to be reconsidered.

But after FRA management consulted with the Board, the board has maintained that the agency will buy maize at K60 per 50kg bag because it is a market price.

Jervis Zimba

Jervis Zimba

And ZNFU has expressed shock at the development and has since taken the matter to the Minister of Agriculture because of the inconsistencies at play.

ZNFU president Jervis Zimba says farmers have been sacrificed after the interference with market prices last season.

Mr Zimba says while the mealie meal price may drop now, the clear signal to farmers is that they should not grow maize going forward.

He states that being a staple food, maize production cannot be left to the vagaries of unpredictable interventions.

He says unless a careful review is done to improve the FRA producer price, the country will find itself having to import maize in the seasons ahead.

Mr Zimba states that the reality on the ground is that the producers of the 2.2 million tonnes of the maize that is marketed was not largely from FISP farmers because some of the FISP maize is retained for own consumption.

He says the FRA price will increase poverty in farming areas because the perennial middlemen have already positioned themselves buying at very low prices for supplying to the real market players such as FRA, Millers and other Processors.

He says the consequences of the announced FRA producer price are just too severe to even contemplate, and therefore should be revisited immediately without any hidden agendas.

 

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