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Farmers need Govt’s assistance – stakeholders

Small-Scale Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) has called upon government to buy at least 60 percent of the soyabeans produced by local farmers.

SAFADA Executive Director Mr. Boyd Moobwe said it is unfortunate that government will not buy soya beans from small scale farmers yet it has the capacity to buy from them.

Mr. Moobwe said the move by government to not buy soya beans will negatively affect local farmers because it will be difficult for them to only sell the commodity to the private sector.

He said government can buy 60 percent of the soya beans produced by local farmers and the other 40 percent can be bought by the private sector just to help farmers grow soya beans in the coming farming season.

He added that farmers who are buying their own fertilizer have no means of having profit compared to those who benefited from the Farmers Input Support Program (FISP) which has a negative impact on both farmers and consumers when it comes to pricing the commodity.

Meanwhile, an Economist Mr. Kelvin Chisanga said Zambia needs to put in place measures to address the recent fertilizer deficit that hit the previous farming season because it has a direct impact on pricing of various agriculture products.

He said no country in the region is currently manufacturing fertilizer on a large scale to help reduce the dependency on European produced products.

“Zambia has tried to establish its own fertilizer manufacturing companies in the likes of united capital fertilizer but they are not working to their top level,” he said.

He has urged the government and other relevant stakeholders to fully capitalize on the current high demand of fertilizer in the region by producing the commodity locally and exporting it.

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