United Party for National Development(UPND) Solwezi East Member of Parliament Leaky Kintu says the downward adjustment of maize floor price from K80 to K60 has had a toll on farmers in his constituency.
And Kintu has revealed that briefcase businesspeople were given money by the PF to exploit farmers.
Speaking in an interview, Kintu said very few farmers are not likely to grow maize this season because the Food Reserve Agency(FRA) has pegged the floor price cheaply.
He said Solwezi East is basically a farming block, where most people depend on growing maize and other agricultural products.
“The way this government is running agriculture is affecting farmers. Talking about maize, the floor price was K80 now it has been reduced to K60. Now if you look at how much farmers spent on farming imputs, (basal dressing and top dressing fertilizer) it is a mockery. As things are now, most farmers will not plant maize this farming season,” Kintu said.
He appealed to government to adjust the maize floor price upwards to encourage farmers to grow more maize.
Asked whether it is not too late to do that, Kintu said:” Yes it maybe too late because most farmers who sold maize to briefcase businessmen will have lost out. We are reliably informed that those briefcase farmers have been paid to exploit farmers by the PF. However, there are many farmers who have not yet sold their maize.”