Smallholder farmers in Zambia on Monday expressed concern at the increased dumping of fresh cabbages and tomatoes on the market by larger producers, saying it was killing their business.
Calvin Kaleyi, the Spokesperson of the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), an umbrella body of farmers in the country, said some known large-scale farmers were oversupplying the fresh cabbages and tomatoes on the market, a situation that has resulted in a significant drop in prices.
“The oversupplying of these fresh vegetables is causing a significant drop in commodity prices, resulting in many farmers producing at a loss,” he said in a statement.
He said if not curtailed, the trend will force many small-scale and emergent farmers to stop production, adding that larger fresh producers should contemplate venturing into the value chain addition instead of dumping their produce on the market.
Meanwhile, President Hakainde Hichilema has expressed sadness over the development, especially at a time when the government was unlocking both the local and international markets for the country’s produce.
“This makes sad reading for us who have been working tirelessly to unlock both local and international markets for our produce through various MoUs we have signed,” he said on his Facebook page.
The Zambian president, who said agricultural produce should not be allowed to go to waste, has since called for massive investment in cold storage facilities and value addition to agriculture products.