Mumbwa farmers sell maize cheaply to private buyers

Some farmers in Mumbwa have started selling their maize to private buyers at K55 per 50 kg bag of the produce.

Mumbwa District Commissioner Sunday Shamabanse confirmed this yesterday.

He said he had received reports of some local farmers who were selling their maize at K55.00 per 50Kg bag.

Mr Shamabanese advised the farmers against selling their maize to private buyers and instead sale their crop to the Food Reserve Agency s at government recommended price of K70 for a 50kg bag.

He said the opening of 21 satellite depots in various parts of the district would be a great advantage to local farmers as they would be selling their maize at government recommended price of K70.00 per 50Kg bag.

Last week, Agriculture Minister Wilbur Simuusa announced in his ministerial statement in Parliament that the maize floor price for 2014/15 marketing season was pegged at K70 per 50Kg bag.

Mr. Simuusa said FRA would commence buying maize from farmers on July 1, in areas where the moisture content has reached the stipulated standard of 12.5 per cent.

He said the areas of business include Southern, Luapula, Lusaka, Eastern and Northern Provinces.

Mr.Simuusa said 115 satellite depots used in the previous marketing season would be maintained in the current marketing season.

He encouraged the private sector to buy maize from farmers for their operations as FRA would only be restricted to purchase maize for the strategic reserves.

Mr.Simuusa said FRA would this marketing season buy maize and paddy rice in remote areas across the country where the private sector would most likely not venture.

He further stated that FRA would purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of maize and 2,100 metric tonnes of paddy rice.