OPPOSITION Green Party president Peter Sinkamba has said once voted into government, his party will abolish the floor price of maize to allow farmers themselves to determine the price of maize.
He said farmers would be allowed to determine the expenditure incurred to grow the crop and market forces at play.
Mr Sinkamba said the cost of growing maize in Zambia was high, making it imperative for farmers to determine the price.
The Green Party president was reacting to protests by the farmers over the unprofitable increment of the maize floor price from K65 to K70 per 50kilogramme bag of maize.
Mr Sinkamba said in an interview in Kitwe at the weekend that the unprofitable maize price was likely to push farmers from growing maize to growing other profitable crops.
“Growing maize has become unprofitable in Zambia because the floor price which the government puts is not motivating to the farmers.
You find that farmers have invested a lot in maize farming, but the floor price which government puts, is really demoralising.
“So as Green Party, once voted into government, we will abolish the floor price of maize and instead, we will allow farmers themselves to determine the price of maize depending on the expenditure incurred to grow the crop and also the market forces at play,” Mr Sinkamba said.
He also said, once voted into office, the Green Party would ensure that Agriculture focused on high value crops like coffee, cashew nuts and marijuana so that the agriculture sector was a successful substitute to the mining industry.
He said the Green Party would in due course be proven right on its stand of legalizing the cultivation of marijuana for exports to earn income for the country to achieve economic recovery and national development.
He said cultivation of marijuana for export would earn the country more than US$15billion per annum and by so doing, it would reduce the dollar to less than K2.
“As Green Party, we stand to be proven right in due course on our stand to as regards legalize the cultivation of marijuana for export. It will fill in the gap of the mining industry which has been the major foreign exchange earner,
“Look what is happening, farmers are investing a lot in maize farming, but they are not getting good money which they would be getting from growing marijuana if the growing of marijuana was legalized “ He said.