Gverment is sensitising small-scale farmers in Chisamba district against exploitation by some traders who are offering lower prices in the current marketing season.
This follows President Lungu’s directive that Government will no longer dictate the price of maize and allow farmers and market forces to determine the price of the commodity to encourage productivity among farmers.
Chisamba district agriculture coordinator (DACO) Julius Malipa said currently, the private sector is buying one kilogramme (kg) of maize at k1.
In an interview on Monday, Mr. Malipa said last season, farmers were selling a 50kg bag at K85, hence they should include the cost of inputs used in production to come up with a profitable price.
“We are sensitising farmers using our agriculture shows, camps and extensions officers and the media to avoid being exploited and not sell their crops at a lower price,” he said.
He said most farmers in the district belong to cooperatives, which has made it easier for Government to spread the information.
Mr. Malipa also said DACO is working with the Zambia Cooperative Federation, Zambia National Service and private buyers such as Zambeef Products, which is one of the biggest buyers in the area.
He urged farmers in the district to wait for the moisture content to reduce to 12.5 percent and sell to millers and buyers who are expected to offer a good price.
Mr. Malipa said the district is expected to produce over one million 50kg bags of maize.