MINISTER of Agriculture Dora Siliya announced on Wednesday May 10, 2017 that Zambia had recorded 3,606,549 metric tonnes of maize for the 2016/2017 farming season.
During the 2015/2016 farming season, the country recorded 2,873,491 metric tonnes of maize. This entails that the country has recorded a bumper harvest, which should benefit both the farmers and the consumers.
In a nutshell, farming is a business and as such, farmers should get real value for their money. This can be done by offering the farmers a reasonable price for their produce so that they can recoup the cost they incurred in producing the crop.
Farmers, especially those in remote areas, are in most cases exploited through lower prices by unscrupulous or briefcase buyers.
This is not good on the part of farmers who work very hard and spend dearly in producing the crop.
Worse still, this scenario negates agribusiness in general by downplaying the morale of farmers.
This problem can be averted if the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) can buy maize from farmers in remotest areas of the country. In this way, farmers will benefit.
It is a well-established fact that nshima is the staple food for the majority Zambians. In view of this, I implore the millers to consider reducing the price of mealie meal.
Ultimately, the consumers will benefit through the lower price of mealie meal as a result of the bumper harvest.
Over and above, the bumper harvest which our country has recorded can only be appreciated if it benefits both the farmers and the consumers.