AgricultureLocal News

FARMERS WARN GOVT

…lift maize export ban or else

By KETRA KALUNGA

FARMERS will abandon maize production if Government does not rescind its decision to ban the export of the grain, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has warned.
This follows Agriculture minister, Michael Katambo’s pronouncement that the maize export ban would continue until the country was food secure.
Farmers felt that the minister’s position contradicted earlier assurances that borders would be opened if the harvest would be good.
ZNFU public relations officer, Kelvin Kaleyi, said with the good maize harvest that was recorded in the last farming, it was tantamount to policy inconsistency for the export ban to continue.
Mr Kaleyi said in an interview that the poor price of the maize coupled with export challenges would force farmers to abandon maize production and focus on growing other valuable crops which would enable them to earn more.
He said during the opening of Parliament by President Edgar Lungu this Friday, a policy should be triggered that would ensure that the entire agricultural value chain was satisfied and not only the end-user.
Mr Kaleyi said farmers would be affected badly if they continued to face challenges when exporting maize was viable.
He said this would force them to think twice about growing maize going into the next farming season.
“If a farmer is not given a good price and when a farmer wants to export and face challenges to export, it is going to affect them badly such that going to the next farming season, they would think twice about it.

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