’Hiked Power Tariffs to Push Up Farming Costs’

THE Zambia National Farmers Union in Choma and Kalomo has said the rise in the prices of electricity and petroleum products will push the cost of farming higher.

ChomaKalomo ZNFU vice-chairperson Hamish Ross said the agriculture was going through a transition as profit margins were shrinking due to the cost of the escalating production costs.

Speaking during the ZNFU 2013 regional planning review meeting, whose attendance was drawn from most of the districts in Southern Province Mr Ross noted that the prices of fuel had gone up while the prices of most agro commodities remained static.

He said just a few days ago the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) announced the upward electricity tariffs which would further contribute to the cost of production in the agriculture sector.

Mr Ross said it was good to hear from the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock that government would soon announce the floor maize price.

He was optimistic that the floor price will not remain static as has been the case before adding that for the last six marketing seasons, the price of a 50 kilogramme bag of maize remained at K65.

Mr Ross hoped for a higher price of maize this marketing season.

He asserted that the rate at which the private sector was buying maize this season could be alarming if not checked.

Mr Ross warned small-scale farmers that there are some people claiming to work with ZNFU promising farmers that they will give them cheaper fertiliser.

He cautioned farmers not to be cheated out of their hard earned money and report such persons once they approached the farmers.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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