Economy

ZNFU Distances Itself from K65 Maize Price Set by FRA

The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has belatedly taken a dig at the K65 floor price announced by the Food Reserve Agency (ZNFU).

ZNFU has hardly stood for any tangible cause for farmers in the recent past and become better known for reasons outside the grain business.

In a lengthy statement ZNFU has offered no solution but whined about not being party to pre-price announcement proceedings.

FULL STATEMEMT:

ZNFU REACTION TO THE FRA ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE2018 CROP MARKETING ARRANGEMENTS

AND PRICES

The ZNFU engages with Government to provide a voice for farmers but ultimately, Government makes the decisions and bears the consequences. Zambia’s biggest challenge lies in trying to address rural poverty where most of the people depend on farming and addressing the escalating rural urban migration.

Against this background, the ZNFU reaction seeks to address first the farmers and secondly Government.

To the Farmers, now that the FRA has announced its price for maize, farmers should target to sell their maize at a profit.

The Union has produced production costs to guide farmers as they sell their crops. Furthermore, bulking and selling consolidated volumes is bound to attract a better price as opposed to selling individually. To realise this, Zamace is a good platform for posting parcels of maize to sell.

Finally, consider making use of the warehouse receipts arrangements because if all farmers try to sell maize at once, prices will drop even further.

To Government, the Union has absorbed the policy direction loud and clear because the maize prices offered in 2017 and now in 2018 are not an incentive to grow maize.

Last year, the Union forewarned that maize production will drop and the 2018 production confirms this fact, production dropped by 33.6% from 3.6 million tonnes in 2017 to 2.3 million tonnes expected production in 2018 but stocks have remained at seemingly comfortable levels for food security because of carryover stocks.

The Union finds the K65 per 50kg Market price offered by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) absurd and horrendously low and in response to this we call for un-tampered functioning of market conditions and open borders.

We urge government to maintain consistency in the export of agriculture commodities as the food balance sheet figures declared that a surplus of 341, 313 MT could potentially be exported.

This will motivate private sector participation in maize marketing when Government restates that Zambia is open for maize exports.

On Friday 13th July 2018 the ZNFU Board led by the ZNFU president Mr. Jervis Zimba held a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture Honourable Michael Katambo and officials at the Ministry, including the Permanent Secretary Mr. Julius Shawa. The Union provided the production costs for various agriculture commodities, including maize and soya beans to sensitize Government on costs that farmers incur in producing the maize.

At no time was the setting of MAIZE PRICES discussed and the Minister had just issued a statement in Parliament that Government is not involved in the setting of maize prices.

The Union has not met the FRA to discuss maize prices after last years’ efforts yielded a blank because FRA told the Union it was Government that set the K60/50KG with no consultation and

Government insisted it was FRA.

As a Union that represents all farmers in this country, we have been informed that the issue of producer prices has been left to the whims of market forces.

Therefore, Government should yield to these dictates but offer an economic price to far flung areas.

We find the statement that the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) was consulted at a stakeholders’ meeting to arrive at the K65 for a 50kg bag of maize by the FRA disingenuous as the ZNFU did not attend such a meeting.

A formal complaint will be launched with Government because the Union stands ready to dialogue with Government if called upon to do so but not engaging in spin media tactics.

The ZNFU wishes to disassociate itself from being party to the announced FRA price which farmers have been offered. We also refuse to be used to legitimize a price that the Union has had no input in determining hence advice farmers to find better markets and employ prudent ways of selling their maize.

The ZNFU also calls on the Ministry of Agriculture to expedite the issuance of Export Permits for the surplus crop so that farmers can find alternative markets.

For Zambia National Farmers’ Union

Jervis Zimba

PRESIDENT

24 Comments

  1. Leon

    DICTATORSHIP

  2. Leon

    Is it to say even us pf career farmers are subject to K65 per 50kg maize price or is it only the opposition upnd

  3. chess

    if their was a meeting,let them produce minutes!

  4. Magwaza

    Comment:i cant sell my maize at k65 per 50kg atleast k90.its better ndakanga biyo ciwaya mapopwe aangu.

  5. Abros

    Tooooo low!!!

  6. D-square

    Mmmmmm!BA FARMERS UNION ZOONA,NINSHI MWACITAA.Why you let us to suffer like this.WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    MWANYA-NYA.Please,please think about us
    farmers.May U adjust
    from K65-K75 atleast
    Timpephako.
    EASTWARDS

  7. Phill man

    Paya formers.After voting for PF this is what we have been payed for. See u 2021.

  8. Jms

    This is what occurs in every situations imagine these unions I can’t understand the government want to form unions which the neglect again why?unbelievable

  9. James mwanza

    May the almighty God help us , no care for a poor farmer so that the poor becomes more poorer then the rich becomes more richer but remember the God is seing in heaven.

  10. Musonda Simon

    At least k85 better you know farming it,s hard and Farmers have money one’s per year

  11. Commando

    I remember last time FRA was buying a 50kg of white maize at K75 and later increased to K85/50kg bag,this was at the directive of H.E President of Zambia E.C Lungu.What/who has negatively influenced Mr Lungu from not coming to the farmer’s rescue?Mr President sir,if you are listening,if you won’t involve yourself in this matter then just know that your entire government will be held responsible much still the head of govnmt(President Edgar Lungu).Kindy note that it will very hard for this PF government to win back the hearts of farmers come 2021.Bakateka loleshenipo pelyashi lyabashibulimi.Remember that that farmers make money once in a year.The last issue is that let all zambian borders be opened for all grain exports if there won’t be an upward adjustment to the announced K65/50kg of white maize.ICHIKWANKA BACHIMWENA KUMAMPALANYA.

  12. mengmoreler

    in this world there ll b no evil person lik a ministr,they jst go n parliament to opres da poor!

  13. The political prophet

    Agriculture is a sector that holds Gods blessings,the first occupation God gave man was to work the ground.
    Any nation that neglects/exploits its farmers outrightly curses its land,for a farmers joy enhances productivity where as his sorrows results in demotivation,unproductiveness which leads to hunger/starvations leading to unrest because of shortages of food
    It is important that the Zambian government motivates its farmers by enabling reasonable prices for their produces.remember salvation from your national debt lies in agriculture it is time GRZ gave agriculture the attention and respect it deserves.
    Isaac,Jodeph are good examples to show that through farming with wisdom greatness is inevitable.
    Pricing for a 50kg bag of maize with all reasonableness should be paged at range of K90-K100 without fail.
    Let us give some dignity to our farmers who toil under very harsh conditions.
    A WORD OF WARNING TO LAZY URBAN DWELLERS
    See a time to look down on farming and farmers is come to an end for soon and very soon all farm produce and their products will sky rocket,you shall lament and mourn but to no good,i therefore urge that look for some piece of small land grow some veges,maize etc to cushon your home needs,for what Is cheap now will become permanently expensive,
    I see clearly the rising of processing plants in three places swallowing up the local produce To the joy of a farmer.
    Who right now can agree with what i say here ,many will say impossible,but be watchful you will see it unfold.
    For listen both fresh and dry maize wont be cheap
    Tomatoea,onions,oranges,bananas etc they wont be cheap.let him who has ears listen shake off your lazness make good use of your backyard.

  14. Umupondo

    I hate this gorvement//

    K65/50kg zoona Mmmm……

  15. Mwela Albert

    Plz comrade members of pariament house help us solve this matter. Remember that 90% of Zambian relies on agriculture esp. rural duellers of this country. It is also important to realise that of the 90% , 40% are widows and opharns. How are they going to survive a leaving? How are they going to pay school fees for their children? Even acquire some other basic need? Remember this peaple/us couz this is the major source of income we have and it only comes once a yr .plz we are eager to see yr quick and immediate intervention as well as response in the matter. Hod bless us all during the advert period of voting for the mayoral in lsk and some part of this country

  16. Tendai Soko

    You reporter,write your article in simple English please. Your article is tiring.

  17. ked-sing

    Let people benefits from their works not benefiting others with money already,zambia is made of people, if you can not hear the cry of your neighbour who will you help????? When will be things fair to everyone?!!!

  18. sichangwa Kennedy

    dont fool the farmers because you there for a purpose you govt officials

  19. leza

    increase the price

  20. David

    Given this low FRA price what options do farmers have given that exports are once again banned?

    As long as exports remain banned farmers are at the mercy of the local millers offering farmers below production cost for our maize as surplus maize in Zambia cannot be offloaded to other countries. Local millers know this so they take full advantage and offer very low prices year after year at the farmers expense.

    If Zambia could export maize local millers would at least have to pay export parity. Zambia would also earn valuable foreign exchange.

    Constant flip-flopping by Government on maize exports means that big private players will not touch maize and so we lose all the capital and liquidity that big traders would bring to our market (Cargill etc. lost millions of dollars because of export bans and I have heard they have now left the country). Indeed the country lost and estimated $270 million US dollars in export earnings because of maize exports being banned in the 2016/2017 season (ref. IAPRI).

    So while government says they are not setting the price of maize they are directly influencing the price of maize by making sure there is always too much surplus maize in the market by banning exports or dumping FRA maize into the market at below cost.

  21. Nchimus

    K85 Atleast Not K65 Mwatujaya Wee

  22. Pf cadre

    Awe bikeniko umutengo mwalatonawila part atleast K85.

  23. Holyjose

    Plz plz we cry help us at least k85

  24. Winnipeg Nyirongo

    Government and FRA are confusing the Zambian Farmers. You ZNFU please try to speak for the poor Farmers across Zambia. Why should Farmers be punished in this way? Have the heart for the poor Farmers alover Zambia!!!!

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