By SIMON MUNTEMBA
FARMERS have been advised against selling their maize to unscrupulous traders before the official announcement of the 2021/2022 marketing season by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
PF Mkaika constituency aspiring candidate, Yuda Tembo, said he has received disturbing reports that small scale farmers had started selling maize at give-away prices to unscrupulous buyers.
In an interview, Mr Tembo implored the farmers not to fall prey to briefcase buyers and that they should only sell the commodity to the FRA and other buyers offering competitive and fair prices.
“I advise farmers in Mkaika to safe guard their crops this marketing season, they should be wary of briefcase buyers who are offering peanuts with an aim of exploiting them,” Mr Tembo said. He noted that the rainfall pattern was favourable and farmers were expected to have good yields.
Mr Tembo however said farmers should first ensure that they secure enough food for their families and only sell the surplus.
“I would also like to advise them not to sell all their crops but to ensure they keep enough for home consumption,” he said.
He has said it would not be wise for farmers to sell their maize to unscrupulous buyers and later cry to Government for relief food.
FRA is yet to announce the maize floor price for the 2021/ 2022 crop marketing season and was awaiting the moisture content to drop to below 12 percent for maize grain. Last week while officiating the National Agriculture Field Day in Mpika District, President Edgar Lungu directed the Ministry of Agriculture and FRA to quickly finalise all initial preparations for this year marketing season and ensure farmers were paid on time for the supply of crops.
President Lungu also urged FRA to enter the market on time to avoid farmers being duped by briefcase buyers.