Lusaka, November 26, 2018
The Consumer Unity and Trust Society supports the Zambia National Farmers’ Union call to allow far-mers to export maize. We encourage the government to provide them with export permits so that they are able to access external markets.Indeed, when farmers do not have market choices this makes them vulner-able to exploitation by middlemen who are then in a position to drive down the price. Given that our neighbouring countries are experiencing a shortage, farmers are able to receive better prices from those markets and thus increase their disposable income.
At present, given that the private sector is not purchasing maize and that the FRA has not yet entered the market, middle men are being able to take advantage of the situation and buy the commodities at an artificially low price. As a country we need to increasingly start to see trade as a tool for poverty reduction. As such we need to make it more inclusive so that all market players, including the most vulnerable among us are able to engage in it. We need to keep this in mind particularly as we consider as a country whether we are going to join the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
By Chenai Mukumba, Centre Coordinator (For further information please contact: Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), at firstname.lastname@example.org or 097 8055 293)