The Small Scale Farmers Association has applauded the government’s announcement of a maize floor price for the 2021 crop marketing season.
A 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of corn costs K150, according to the government.
Noel Simukonda, Director of the Small Scale Farmers Association, told ZANIS today that the pricing is beneficial for farmers who received subsidised growing supplies under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
Mr. Simukonda said the 2021 floor price will improve the income levels of about one million small scale farmers who accessed fertilizers and inputs through FISP
‘‘K150 is quite a good price and they will get some kind of profit,” he said.
He however observed that small scale farmers who bought unsubsidized inputs might not get the best profit out of the K150 floor price.
He has since urged farmers who benefitted from FISP to be patriotic enough and sell their farm produce such as maize, soya beans and rice to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) since they got the inputs at a relatively lower price.
The FRA has announced that it will purchase a 50 kg bag of white maize at K150 in the 2021/2022 crop marketing season.
FRA Board Chairperson Kelvin Hambwezya said in Lusaka that the agency will also purchase a 50 kg bag of soya beans at K500 and 40kg of paddy rice at K200.
Mr. Hambwezya disclosed that the purchasing price of white maize has increased by 40 per cent from the previous crop marketing season and farmers will be paid as soon as they deliver the commodity to FRA.
He noted that that the agency’s prices will not disadvantage the private sector who are expected to purchase the larger share of the 3.6 million metric tonnes of maize.
During the 2019/2020 marketing season, the price of maize was at K110 per 50 kg bag.