Panic has gripped some farmers in Feni area of Chipata district, following the announcement by FRA, the Food Reserve Agency that it will buy maize at 60 Kwacha per 50 kilogramme bag.
Feni Agricultural Camp Zone Chairperson, Tomaida Ziwa, says that most farmers are shocked, as they never expected the agency to offer such low prices.
Ms. Ziwa says this is the first time in many years that a government agency is offering lower prices than private buyers.
She also questioned the criteria used by the agency to come up with what she described as exploitative prices.
Ms. Ziwa says it would have been better if government maintained last year’s price of 85 Kwacha.
She added that farmers will now be subjected to more poverty as they will be unable to raise enough money for various household needs such as paying school fees for their children.