By GIDEON NYENDWA
GOVERNMENT should announce its policy direction towards reducing the prices of fertilizer from K800 per 50 kilograms to K250, Small-scale Farmers Development agency (SAFADA) executive director, Boyd Moobwe, has said.
Mr Moobwe said the prices of fertiliser are expected to rise by 50 percent by the end of this year due to the removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity.
He said that there were a number of factors attributed to removal of fuel and electricity subsidies which will cause more tough time for the industries to determine fair price for agriculture inputs, equipment and supplies.
Mr Moobwe said that small scale farmers would not manage to buy fertilizer and other farm inputs due to high cost of production.
He said that farming in Zambia was becoming tough because of poor commodity pricing, procurement and distribution instability which would in turn cost the government huge sums money to mitigate the cost of inputs.
Mr Moobwe said that the fertilizer prices and supply systems were in serious contradiction in the agriculture sector that could lead to total failure of the sector towards 2030.
He said the failure would be as a result of small scale farmers not managing to buy farming inputs in the next few months and beyond.
Mr Moobwe said that the agriculture sector was under threat to stand because of poor policy direction and lack of political will to address the situation.
He said the agriculture sector faces numerous challenges due to effects of climate change, army worms invasion and poor commodity pricing which is also a threat to national food security.