THE Zambia National Farmers Union has called upon grain buying stakeholders and prospectors to prepare themselves adequately and offer farmers the best price for their produce. ZNFU president Jervis Zimba has also called upon the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to set aside adequate resources to pay farmers fulfilling prices promptly, instead of making them wait for months with “promissory notes”.
“Three months remain before the marketing window opens in July. It is obvious for all to see that this has been one of the toughest agricultural seasons for Zambian farmers – the country at large; exacerbated by droughts and flash floods in some areas that have devastated crops and livestock. It has been a struggle to nurture and grow the 2018/2019 crop,” he said. “As we await the marketing window to open, the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) is calling upon all grain buying stakeholders and prospectors, minor and major, to prepare themselves adequately and offer farmers the best price for their produce.”
Zimba urged farmers to bargain for the best price that would enable them to make a full cost recovery and a good return on their investments.
“We are all aware that production costs have been rising resulting from the exchange rate depreciation which affects all imported key inputs,” said Zimba.