By Ketra Kalunga
The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) in Kabwe says it is positioning itself for a market share in exporting 600, 000 metric tonnes of maize to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 2019/2020 farming season.
The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to export 600,000 metric tonnes of maize to that country.
ZNFU district chairman, Komani Ng’ambi said as farmers would ensure they get at least 100,00 metric tonnes out of the 600, 000 metric tonnes of maize in the market the government has created for farmers through the MoU.
Mr. Ng’ambi urged local farmers in the district to work as a group to access the market.
“Zambia and the DRC have signed an MoU and this will be a good market for farmers. As farmers we will ensure we belong to groups which will enable us to access the market, as an individual you can’t access that market, if out of the 600 000 metric tonnes, Kabwe can get even just 100,000 tonnes that will be well and good,” said Mr Ng’ambi.
And Mr. Ng’ambi said the local market would also be attractive given the continuous dry spells the country has experienced although the 2019/2020 farming season looks promising as indicated by the onset of rains received in some parts of the country.
He urged farmers to plant the right seeds like the medium and early maturing seeds this farming season for a positive yield because late maturing seeds would be a gamble.
“The weather pattern looks promising but we should not relent as farmers, let’s ensure we are on top of things, and get the right seed in terms of varieties. What I would advise on the seed aspect is go for medium and early maturing seeds, they will be the best variety,” said Mr. Ng’ambi