Raise price of maize, State urged

KAFUE Retirees Muilti-purpose Co-operative has called on Government to consider raising the price of maize to K85 in the 2014/15 marketing season from K70 in the 2013/14 season to increase farmers’ incomes.
Last year, Government through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was buying a 50 kilogramme bag of maize at K70.
Kafue Retirees Muilti-purpose Co-operative vice chairperson Jane Machila said the price should be increased so that farmers can benefit from their farming as it is the only source of income.
“We are asking Government to consider increasing the price of a 50kg bag of maize to K85 so that farmers can get the benefits of their labour considering that farming is labour intensive,” Ms Machila said in an interview on Wednesday.
She said a lot of work goes into farming, from planting, weeding up to the harvest time, and farmers need to get a profit from the money they have invested.
She said farmers have the capacity to contribute to the reduction of poverty as well as enhance food security, but that they need support to achieve this.
Ms Machila said once the capacity of farmers is enhanced, it will enable them improve their living standards by increasing income at household level.
Meanwhile, Ms Machila said the reduced rainfall in the 2014/15 farming season will result in reduced yields and will also have a negative impact on the living standards of most farmers, as many of them rely on farming as their main source of income.
She also said reduced yields will negatively affect food security at household level of most farmers in Kafue.
She, however, called on Government and the private sector to give the co-operative a loan to assist it revamps its operation.

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