Chief Zombe of the Lungu people in Northern province says the K60 maize price in Zambia has forced farmers in his chiefdom to sell their grains to Tanzanian dealers who are purchasing the produce at between K150-K160 per 90kg bag.
Speaking in an interview with News Diggers! Chief Zombe said only farmers in areas away from the boarder sold their maize to the Zambia Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
“Farming was nicely done by our farmers in our respective villages, but unfortunately after the maize grew, there was this tendency of smuggling of maize in the neighbouring Tanzania. Quiet a lot of Tanzanians entered into Zambia and they were offering more money,” Chief Zombe noted.
“So a number of farmers sold their maize to Tanzanians simply because government didn’t increase the number of depots/satellites where FRA could access the maize from. So the Tanzanians entered and they were offering high prices of between K150 and K160 per bag.”
He said the difference between the FRA price and the Tanzanian market price was too huge for the farmers in his area to resist.
“Tanzanians offer a lot of money per bag, so all those who are living along the boarder line sold their maize to Tanzanian buyers. You can the see the difference between the FRA price and the Tanzanian price,” said Chief Zombe.
“Because of the big difference in prices, the farmers opted to sell their maize to Tanzanians. But for areas that are outside the boarder areas, they were selling their maize to FRA because they could not afford to transport their maize to the boarder areas.”