THE rainy season is now over and farmers are harvesting their produce, particularly maize, for the 2017/2018 farming season.The season was characterised by drought in some parts of Zambia. Lusaka province is one of the provinces which were adversely affected by drought in that it started receiving rains in February this year.
Northern, Luapula, Muchinga and North- Western provinces received normal and above-normal rainfall. Given this state of affairs, the country is not expected to record a bumper harvest as the case was in the previous farming season.
The implication of this is that some private buyers will be exploiting farmers by buying maize at low prices. This will not be a good business deal considering the fact that our hard-working farmers spent a lot of money on farming inputs such as seeds, fertiliser and chemicals.
Zambia, being a liberalised economy, there is need for our farmers to sell the maize at the floor price of the Food Reserve Agency or at a higher price.
To protect our farmers from being swindled by briefcase buyers, there is need to sensitise them to be wary about these scrupulous buyers who are looking forward to a field day by pouncing on unsuspecting farmers selling their produce.