EASTERN Province MMD chairperson Jacob Mwanza says government has not been fair to the farmers.
In a special interview with Feel Free FM, Mwanza said government should start preparing for the crop marketing seasons to avoid a repeat of the previous seasons where government delayed to pay farmers.
“Previously, there was this issue of saying money is not available and farmers had to wait until November or December. Farmers are busy harvesting meaning that there should be preparations on the part of government to make sure that by the time they (farmers) finish whatever they are harvesting, money should be ready for them. What happened last year was not good enough so we want to make sure that are our farmers are awarded and rewarded at the right time. I don’t think we have been fair on our farmers,” Mwanza said.
He said people did not want to be told stories during the marketing period.
“When you disturb agriculture, then the whole process of the citizens having money in the country is distorted completely. Let government be
ready, we don’t want stories, we will not forgive (you) this time around,” Mwanza said.
He said he expected the maize floor price to slightly improve.
“Remember in 2016, the maize floor price was at K85 and the following year, farmers expected the price to at least go to K90 or sustain the same price. Why did it drop? You cannot talk about market forces, no no. You remember in 2016, it was the President who announced the maize price but in 2017 he says ‘no FRA should announce’; that was noted. So we want the government to tell us, who is supposed to announce the floor price of maize? Is it the President or State House or is it the Food Reserve Agency?” asked Mwanza.