New maize floor price received with mixed feelings.

The announcement by President Edgar Lungu to increase the maize floor price from 75 to 85 Kwacha for a 50 kilogramme bag has been received with mixed feelings.

Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI say that the 85 kwacha buying price still falls short of the maize production costs.

EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that farmers spent a lot of money on buying farming inputs, which will be difficult for them to make reasonable profit.

Mr. Mtonga says that it is important for government to take into consideration that private maize buyers are buying the produce at between 130 and 150 Kwacha.

He doubted if the buying price adjustment will discourage farmers from selling their maize to briefcase buyers.

And Mr. Mtonga has noted the need for FRA, the Food Reserve Agency to ensure that farmers are paid on time when they open the market.

Government has indicated that FRA is currently waiting for the maize moisture content to reduce to less than 12.5 per cent before they can start buying the produce from farmers.

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