GOVERNMENT must ensure that the price of maize supersedes production costs and efforts expended by farmers to produce the crop, farmers in Chipashi area of Kamfinsa constituency in Kitwe have said
The farmers, led by Lozina Muchima , Joyce Muchimba and Ethel Mutinta said farming could be a very lucrative business if Government motivated the farmers with various incentives and a good floor price of maize.
Ms Muchimba said in an interview in an interview with the Daily Nation in Chipashi area that the current price of maize was not motivating, hence farmers were merely growing the crop because it was a staple food
Ms Muchimba and her colleagues, who are single parents, proposed that a 50 kilogramme bag of maize should fetch more than the current floor price of K110.
“We spend a lot of efforts and money to grow maize up to the time it is ready for harvest and so, as farmers, we would like the price of a 50 kg bag of maize to fetch K150.
“In fact, we think gGovernment should treat farming as a business so that farmers get a fair deal from their sweat. To be frank, the floor price of maize has never motivated us. We just grow it because it is a staple food,’’ Ms Muchimba said
But when reminded that a high price of maize would result into a high price of mealie meal, Ms Muchimba said those who do not want to buy mealie-meal at a high price should also start growing maize.
“Even those who are working should have a field to start growing maize. We are also working as farmers and we want our product to be bought at a good price, a good price to give us profit,” Ms Muchimba said.
However, the farmers commended Government for delivering agricultural inputs on time, a development which had contributed to the expected good yield.
Ms Ethel Mutinta said, apart from Government delivering agricultural inputs on time, the good rainfall pattern would also contribute to the bumper harvest.
Ms Mutinta said the whole process of the 2019/2020agricultural season was handled well by the agro-dealers and others in the area.
“Yes, we may have challenges in one or two areas, but we are expecting a bumper harvest because government delivered inputs on time and we had good rains,’’ she said