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Briefcase buyers invade farmers

Filed under: Breaking News,Business |

Some small-scale farmers in Kapiri Mposhi district have reportedly already started selling their maize for 2013/2014 season to briefcase businessmen.

This is before the launch of the crop marketing season and announcement of the floor price by government.

Kapiri Mposhi District Farmers Association, Chairperson Mwansa Bwalya who confirmed the development to ZANIS said small scale farmers are selling the maize for as low as 36 thousand Kwacha per 50-Kilogram bag of maize.

Mr. Bwalya says the farmers are being exploited by the briefcase buyers because of government’s delay in announcing the floor price of maize.

He says farmers in Chipepo, Mukonchi and other outlying areas in the district have fallen prey to briefcase businessmen who are buying the crop at cheap and un-recommended prices.

Mr. Bwalya has since called on government to announce the floor price of maize early enough to enable the farmers decide of the preferred market.

He says briefcase businesspersons are taking advantage of the delay in announcing the floor price to determine and force uncompetitive prices on farmers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bwalya has implored government to review and revise the floor price of maize for 2013/2014 farming season.

And the International Fund for Agriculture and Development -IFAD for East and Southern Africa -ESA regional implementation workshop has opened in Livingstone with government calling for credible investment to improve the agriculture sector.

The four-day workshop being held under the theme, “Family Farming” has attracted over a hundred participants from twenty countries.

Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wylbur Simuusa said at the official opening of the workshop that agriculture needs credible investment to improve productivity.

Mr. Simuusa says government recognizes the support from IFAD being rendered to small scale famers in the country.

He says government will remain fully supportive of IFAD programmes on agriculture because failure in agriculture can have devastating consequences.

And Fund Regional Director, Perin Saint Ange says IFAD will remain committed to helping small holder farmers not only produce quality and nutritious food.

Mr. Perin has noted that Zambia has a lot of potential in farming that needs exploring.


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