…as President Lungu promises to re-look maize issue

By Annie Zulu

FARMERS have expressed joy with President Edgar Lungu’s pledge to re-look the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) maize marketing price, saying they have been given new hope.

Zambia National Farmers Union president Jervis Zimba yesterday said the President has given the sector hope just when intervention was needed.

President Lungu yesterday assured farmers that he would re-look at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) maize marketing price.

This follows an outcry from the farmers over the K60 maize price for a 50 kilogramme bag as announced by FRA.

Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said President Lungu said this when he met Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) clergy who paid a courtesy call on him at State House yesterday.

He said even promising to re-look at the matter was good enough because it opened  up an avenue to resolve the issue of the maize price.

He said agriculture was at its lowest level and that if the issue was not resolved soon workers in the agribusiness would be laid off and that it was important that a dialogue process was convened for all stakeholders.

 “We welcome the development with both hands, so that this issue can be ironed out. As ZNFU we are happy that the President has heeded the cry of farmers. Agribusiness is at its lowest and if the issue is not resolved soon a lot of workers will be laid off,” Mr Zimba said.

And Mr Chanda said President Lungu discussed a wide range of issues with EFZ clergy and made a special response to them on re-looking at the maize marketing price.

“President met with the clergy, he assured them that his doors are open to discuss issues that affects the nation,” Mr Chanda said.

He added that the President also gave his thanks to the church for its role in the governance of the country.

And the EFZ thanked President Lungu for giving them the opportunity to meet him.

EFZ Spokesperson Bishop Fortune Mwiza described the meeting with the President as successful.

He said his team and the President prayed together and shared many things most of which were confidential. “A lot of issues were discussed most of which are confidential, but we can only share with you two of those issues that is political dialogue and our country’s agriculture,” Bishop Mwiza said.

EFZ has 400 denominations and 20,000 churches countrywide.

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