The Small Scale Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) has urged local farmers to stop selling their unharvested maize to foreigners.
Speaking in an interview with Lusaka Star, SAFADA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Boyd Mobwe, said it is a bad trend by local farmers who are selling off their field maize to foreigners, saying that this habit might cause the country to be outsourcing for maize from outside when the farmers had already grown the crop.
“The selling of fresh field maize has a negative impact on the food security in the country because everything would have been sold before its time to harvest,” Mobwe said.
However, Mobwe attributed the selling of unharvested maize to foreigners in areas close to boarders due to low income that characterizes the farming business.
He said farmers are struggling because they earn their income once in a year, hence resort to such means for survival.
“Farmers have challenges and do not have enough income to sustain themselves, so when a buyer comes and wants to buy a maize field, a farmer has no choice but to sell off the field instead of waiting for the harvesting time”, Mobwe said.
Meanwhile, Frank Kayula an agricultural expert said farmers should have patience and work with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to negotiate on the price they want their maize to be sold at.
“The current hike in mealie meal prices can be attributed to farmers selling maize fields that are not ready to be harvested and the country will lose completely”.
He said farmers can make even bigger profits than what they are currently making by selling off unharvested maize fields to foreigners.