Alfred Ndhlovu says President Edgar Chagwa Lungu should not be stubborn and childish but listen to concerns raised by farmers and other stakeholders on the abnormal reduction of maize floor prices.
President Lungu has vehemently refused to intervene in the prices of maize that have been reduced from K90 to K60 per 90kg bag.
Small scale farmers have branded this reduction a mockery, considering that they spent a lot of money during the planting season that was affected by heavy presence of army worms.
When reached for a comment, Ndhlovu Ndhlovu who is former Minister of Transport and Communication pleaded with President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to intervene in the maize floor price.
He said the President who fails to find solutions must resign and pave way for a leader who can take care of the citizens.
Ndhlovu said Zambia is grappled with problems of subsistence farming because government has failed to find new methods of farming that move with technology.
Ndhlovu argued that Zambia must learn how to deal with excess production and stop using the glory of bumber harvest to exploit farmers by underpaying them.
“The trend is that Government must pay the farmer even for maize they are throwing in Kariba. It has happened in Europe and it has happened in history so it will happen in Zambia. Sometime in Europe when farmers produced more Governments were buying butter at a good price to allow farmers produce more. They started throwing the same butter in the rivers, oceans and Mediterranean sea. Zambia will have to pass through that stage. As long as our production is normalized you have to know how to deal with excess production. You must do that and this is the issue that this government which is very childish my fail to understand,” he said.
Ndhlovu further argued that if anything maize floor price was supposed to be increased to K100 because the commodity is on high demand in Africa.
He explained that government has capacity to sell maize in needy area through government to government deals.
Ndhlovu said it was arbitrary to brag about a bumper harvest of 3.6 million metric tones when the country is supposed to hit 10 million metric tones with the abundant land she is blessed with.
He said it is the duty of government to empower farmers so that their lives are made easier.
“If government fails to find money for citizen then it must resign,” he said, ” life in rural areas is hard. I have been there myself so these people need empowerment.”